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Pupils: English Language

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 22 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) sixth form colleges had teachers who worked overtime to teach children with English as an additional language in the latest period for which figures are available. (199355)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) secondary schools and (b) sixth form colleges are running the International English Language Testing System; what the estimated costs are of running the International English Language Testing System; and what financial support local authorities provide for schools and sixth form colleges running the International English Language Testing System. (199356)

No secondary schools or sixth form colleges ran the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) last year. Information for 2007-08 is not yet available.

Until 2007-08, IELTS was funded as an exception to all other International English language qualifications. However, from September 2007 the newly accredited IELTS qualification, now called Cambridge ESOL certificate in English, is not eligible for LSC funding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) Basingstoke, (ii) Hampshire and (iii) England have (A) at least one specialist teaching assistant for pupils with English as an additional language, (B) at least one lead teacher for ethnic minority pupils, (C) at least one specialist teaching assistant for pupils with English as an additional language and one lead teacher for ethnic minority pupils and (D) more than one specialist teaching assistant for pupils with English as an additional language and a lead teacher for ethnic minority pupils. (199358)

Information for the number of specialist teaching assistant, for additional language, is not collected centrally,

The following table shows the number of schools in Basingstoke constituency, Hampshire local authority and England that had at least one teacher recorded for ethnic minority pupils in January 2007.

Number of local authority maintained primary and secondary schools in Basingstoke constituency, Hampshire local authority and England which have at least one teacher recorded for ethnic mi notify pupils, January 2007

Basingstoke

Hampshire

England

Primary

Number of schools

1

5

1,218

Percentage of total

2.5

1.2

7,0

Secondary

Number of schools

3

399

Percentage of total

42

11.9

Source: School Census

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what support from local authorities is available to schools to provide resources to teach children who have English as an additional language; what assessment has been made of the adequacy of this support; and if he will make a statement. (199359)

The number of pupils for whom English is an additional language (EAL) rose from 500,000 to 790,000 between 1997 and 2007. Let me put that in perspective. Such children now comprise 12 per cent. of all pupils as against 7.5 per cent. in 1997 and 9 per cent. in 2001. Funding for EAL children has fully kept pace with these increasing numbers through

an element within the dedicated schools grant (DSG) for primary schools which was some £256 million in 2004-05, rising to £299 million in 2007-08, with a further rise to over £330 million in 2010-11—an 11 per cent. real terms increase on the 2004-05 level;

a substantial provision for EAL through the ring fenced ethnic minority achievement grant (EMAG), which has risen from £162 million in 2004-05 to £179 million in 2007-08 and will rise to £206 million by 2010-11—a 9 per cent. increase on the 2004-05 level;

in addition an exceptional circumstances grant (ECG) has been introduced to reflect changes in local authorities' pupil numbers which occur after the three year indicative allocations of DSG have been announced.

These increases form part of the substantial overall increase in school funding. Over the past 10 years since 1997, overall per pupil revenue funding for schools has increased by 67 per cent. in real terms. We expect local authorities to be able to manage new pressures from within these increases, and to ensure that the resources reach the individual schools affected by new arrivals and EAL speakers.

The Government’s policy is to encourage rapid English language acquisition as the key to successful integration into the UK education system and the wider community.

Newly arrived pupils are given additional help in learning English by specialist advisers and teachers of English as an additional language (EAL) and bilingual classroom assistants, who work in collaboration with classroom teachers to plan lessons and teaching materials. The evidence indicates that EAL pupils typically catch up with their peers in attainment terms within two years of first admission to a school a England.

The Government recently launched a new arrivals excellence programme intended to provide practical support for local authorities, schools and individual teachers. This programme is backed by other practical support including measures to improve the supply, training and qualifications of EAL specialist staff, and to deliver new web-based teaching and learning materials.