Skip to main content

Pupils: Languages

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what funding his Department makes available to support schools with increasing numbers of bilingual learners; (134304)

(2) what funding has been made available for (a) local authorities and (b) individual schools in Cambridgeshire to deal with increasing numbers of bilingual learners.

The Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) is a ring-fenced grant which provides additional support for underachieving ethnic minority pupils and for pupils for whom English is an Additional Language. The total grant for 2007-08 is £179 million. Cambridgeshire will receive £104,811.

Approximately £435 million of the £24.6 billion Schools Formula Spending Share (SPSS) for 2005-06 was distributed on the basis of numbers of children for whom English is an Additional Language, and from low performing ethnic minority groups.

The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), which replaced SPSS for 2006-07, gives local authorities allocations for multi year periods: the allocations for 2007-08 will depend on pupil numbers in schools in January 2007 and the guaranteed unit of funding for each authority set in December 2005 is influenced by the number of its children for whom English is an Additional language.

The Dedicated Schools Grant is supplied to local authorities in support of the Schools Budget. It is for the local authorities—in conjunction with their Schools Forum—to fund the schools they maintain from their Schools Budget. The Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding for Cambridgeshire in 2007-08 is £3,622.90.

We will set indicative allocations for a three year period for 2008-09 to 2010-11, following the current consultation as part of the new school funding arrangements for 2008-09, which will be finalised when we have the pupil numbers for each year. The possibility of an Exceptional Circumstances Grant to deal with additional pressures which may fall on local authorities after we set out three year allocations is under consideration as part of our consultations.

The Government are working in partnership with local areas to spread best practice in meeting specific pressures that have arisen as a result of recent migration. In addition, we have set aside £400,000 over a two year period to fund a New Arrivals Excellence Programme to build capacity in local authorities to support schools with limited experience of teaching new arrivals with little knowledge of English.