Saturday, August 15, 2009

Children who speak English as their first language are now a minority in inner-city London primary schools

Youngsters with a different mother tongue form a majority in primaries in 13 out of 33 London boroughs and in nearby Slough. In inner London, 54% of primary pupils and 48.5% in secondary institutions do not speak English as their first language. This amounts to an astonishing 159,340 children. Across the country, English is a foreign language to more than one in seven primary youngsters - almost half a million. The figures from the Department for Children, Schools and Families point to the major demographic changes over the past few decades. Around a fifth of pupils are from ethnic minorities - up from 11% in 1997.

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