In the inner cities
it's more like 1 in 4 are from the indigenous White, British
One in four primary school pupils are
ethnic minority and almost a million schoolchildren
do not speak English as their first language
More than a quarter of primary
school children are from an ethnic minority – an increase of almost
half a million since 1997, it emerged yesterday.
The Government’s annual school
census painted a picture of a changing Britain where schools are under
mounting pressure from mass immigration.
In some areas, only 8 per cent
of primary pupils are from a white British background. Nearly one
million children aged five to 16 – 957,490 – speak English as a second
language, up from almost 800,000 five years ago.
Shock figures: One in four primary
school children are from an ethnic minority research by the Department
for Education shows.
And 26.5 per cent of primary
pupils – 862,735 – are from an ethnic minority. When Labour took office
in 1997, the total was 380,954. At secondary level, the total of ethnic
minority children – 723,605 – has risen from 17.7 per cent to 22.2 per
cent in five years.
The biggest group of ethnic
minority pupils were Asians, making up 10 per cent of primary pupils
and 8.3 per cent of secondary pupils.
The number from ‘other white
backgrounds’ in primaries has almost doubled since 2004 – from 74,500
to 136,880 – reflecting arrivals from Eastern Europe and other new EU
In Manchester, Bradford,
Leicester and Nottinghamshire white British primary pupils are in a
minority. And in Luton just 30 per cent are classified as white British.
In some London boroughs, such
as Newham, only 8 per cent of children up to the age of 11 are from a
white British background.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of
think-tank MigrationWatch, said this was an ‘inevitable consequence of
Labour’s policy of mass immigration’.
He added: ‘We now have nearly
a million schoolchildren whose first language is not English and who
consequently need extra attention which can only be at the expense of
underlines the need for the Government to meet its commitment to get
net migration down to tens of thousands by 2015.’
A Department for Education
spokesman said: ‘Having English as a second language doesn’t always
mean that English skills are necessarily poor. It only shows the
language the child was initially exposed to at home – the evidence is
clear that once English is established, children catch up and even
overtake their peers.’
Overall, 24 per cent of
children in primary and secondary schools are of an ethnic minority –
The DfE classification of
‘white British’ does not include Irish, traveller, gipsy or Roma pupils.
n A record number of parents
are lodging appeals after their children were refused places at their
primary school of choice. DfE figures show there were 42,070 such
appeals in 2009/10 – a 10.5 per cent rise on the year before and a
doubling since 2005/6. Immigration and families trying to get into
sought-after schools have been blamed.
76 LANGUAGES UNDER ONE ROOF
In geography lessons, pupils at
Southfields Community College (pictured above, last year) have a
natural advantage. Choose any corner of the globe and you are likely to
find at least one child from that region.
Youngsters at the South London
comprehensive speak 76 languages between them, with their families
coming from as far afield as Kazakhstan, Iraq, Congo, Burma and
Many have fled war zones and some
have not even been to school before.
The languages they speak include
German, Mandarin and Arabic as well as
lesser-known tongues such as Tigrinya, spoken in Eritrea and Ethiopia,
originating from Nigeria.
Languages also include Twi, spoken
in Ghana, and Tagalog, a language of the Philippines.
The 1,400-pupil school was hailed
an inspirational success story after Ofsted
inspectors gave it their highest possible grade - outstanding. The
education watchdog praised the school in 2007 for enabling pupils to
The over-subscribed comprehensive
has become adept at catering for children
still learning to speak English.
Those who join the school at 15 or
16 have just months to learn the language before sitting their GCSEs.
Some have such little English they rely on picture books.
The school has a team of specialist
language staff who between them speak
more than a dozen languages.
They call on community leaders if a
child arrives speaking a language that is not
represented in the staff room.
school place appeals rocket
birth rates have contributed to a growing demand for primary school
The numbers of parents
appealing against primary school places has rocketed.
Tens of thousands of families
lodged appeals last year after their children were refused places at
their favoured school.
The DfE statistics show that
42,070 appeals were lodged against primary school admissions in
2009/10, a 10.5 per cent rise on the 38,080 appeals in 2008/09.
The figures also show that the
numbers of appeals against primary places have almost doubled since
2005/06, when they stood at 21,995.
It is thought that intense
pressure on primary school places, due to the rising birth rate, is
fuelling the hike in appeals.
Today’s statistics show that
85,165 appeals were lodged by parents against primary and secondary
school allocations in 2009/10, slightly down from 88,275 the previous
Of these, 60,855 were heard by
independent panels, with 18,110 cases decided in favour of the parents.
Schools minister Nick Gibb
said: 'It is clear that rising birth rates are increasing demand and
pressure on primary places, with more parents unhappy with the lack of
choice open to them.
'The education system has
rationed places in good schools for too long, which is why our reforms
are designed both to drive up standards in the weakest performers and
allow more children to go to the best.'
The Government is encouraging
more groups to set up free schools, and 200 of the worst primaries are
to be turned into academies, he added.
All parents have the right to
appeal if any school they applied to refuses their child a place.
The system allows parents to
argue that schools broke official admissions rules or that there are
'compelling' extra reasons why their child deserves a place.
SUCCESSFUL APPEALS UP 9% FOR PARENTS
• Of the primary school
appeals, 28,715 were heard by independent panels, with 7,045 decided in
favour of the parents. This is a 9 per cent increase on the 6,460
decided in favour of parents in 2008/09
• Families lodged 43,095 appeals against
secondary school admissions, a drop from 50,195 in 2008/09
• Of these, 32,135 were heard
by appeals panels
total of 11,065 secondary school cases were decided in favour of the
parents, down slightly from 12,600 the year before.
Rising numbers of infants are
being taught in 'large classes', above the legal limit, according to
separate DfE figures published today.
The statistics show that
43,065 five to seven-year-olds are now taught in classes with more than
This figure has risen by more
than a third since last year, when it stood at 31,265 pupils, and
almost doubled in five years. In 2007, the figure was 23,210 pupils.
Overall, 2.5 per cent of
infant classes in England - 1,370 in total - have more than 30 pupils,
up from 1.8 per cent in 2010.
Under current rules, there are
certain circumstances in which schools can legally have an infants
class of more than 30, for example if a parent wins an appeal for a
The figures show that 1,060
classes are considered 'lawfully' large, up from 855 last year.
It means that almost 10,000
pupils are being taught in the 310 'unlawfully' large classes. This has
doubled in the space of a year, from 4,475 pupils taught in 140 classes
The most common reasons for
school legally exceeding the statutory limit on class sizes was pupils
being admitted after a decision by an independent appeal panel, or
because a pupil had originally been refused entry to a school in error.
The average class size for
five to seven-year-olds is now 26.9 pupils, up from 26.6 last year.
For seven to 11-year-olds the
average class size is 27 pupils, up from 26.8 in 2010, while in
secondary schools it is 20.4, down from 20.5.
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