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