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EAL pupils have no impact on native English speakers' attainment

The academic achievement of native English speakers does not suffer if they attend schools with a high proportion of pupils who speak a different first language, according to a new report.

The research, released today by the Education Endowment Foundation, shows that the number of children who speak English as an additional language (EAL) has more than doubled since 1997, with 16.2 per cent of all pupils in England categorised as EAL in 2013, up from 7.6 per cent.

More than one million EAL pupils now attend schools across the country, attracting an additional £243 million in funding. 

The timing of the report is significant: immigration and its effect on public services are likely to be key issues in the run-up to the general election in May .

But despite an increase in the number of EAL children in UK schools, the research states that there is “no evidence” to suggest that this is having a negative impact on native English speakers.

Professor Steve Strand of the University of Oxford writes: "We found that the percentage of EAL students in the school had minimal association with student attainment or progress."

Read the full article in the 30 January edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

Related stories: 

Quarter of primary schools have no foreign language expertise, study reveals – 25 March, 2014

EBac kickstarts languages revival, but there's still a long way to go – 22 August, 2013

Ofqual’s plan to abandon speaking and listening is ‘bad news’ for EAL students, ex-top adviser says - 5 August, 2013

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