One in seven migrant Brit pupils do not speak English as their first language

March 18th, 2009 - 1:50 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar.18 (ANI): One in seven migrant pupils in the United Kingdom does not speak English, even as the number of immigrant children in primary schools has soared by 25 per cent in five years. According to The Sun, around 566,000 primary children now have a foreign language as their mother tongue up by 113,500 since 2004.
And 349,000 secondary school kids 10 per cent normally speak a foreign language, taking the total to more than 915,000. Shadow immigration minister Damian Green uncovered the figures.
He said: This shows how difficult life is for many teachers because of the Governments long-term failure to control immigration. The number of pupils with English as a second language makes life difficult for teachers, parents and pupils. Teachers leaders have already warned that staff in some schools is struggling to cope with children who speak a dozen or more languages between them.
It is estimated that 240 languages are spoken in Englands schools. Punjabi is the most common, with more than 102,000 pupils having it as their first language in primaries and secondaries.
Earlier this year it emerged there were ten schools where no youngsters spoke English as their first language. Critics warn that there is a growing danger of children growing up in communities where they have virtually no contact with English-speaking kids.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families said last night it was taking steps to deal with the problem. (ANI)

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