What is lacking is a national approach to the whole issue of English as an additional language. Currently there are no national criteria to measure bilingual pupils' acquisition of English language skills to enable staff to target Section 11 support more precisely.
The funding regulations insist on monitoring procedures which to all intents and purposes are but number-crunching exercises. There is little emphasis on qualitative appraisal of Section 11 support. Inspections by the Office for Standards in Education sometimes give conflicting messages to schools regarding the deployment and effectiveness of Section 11 support.
If we are serious about making the curriculum accessible to ethnic minority pupils by breaking down language barriers, we need to ensure continuity and consistency in funding, otherwise the issue will remain marginalised.
38 Woodfield Heights
Wolverhampton, West Midlands