Sarah Bonnell, in east London, is a multicultural, inner-city school, and for 40 per cent of its pupils, English is a second language.
Around 100 languages are spoken in the local community, and Mark Richardson, college director, said it was this that made language college status the ideal choice. "We are a global school and pupils are very good at languages because of the area we are situated in."
Pupils have a choice of seven languages in the curriculum: French, German, Spanish and Italian, as well as Arabic, Punjabi and Urdu.
The importance given to languages in the curriculum by specialist status, he said, had helped staff recruitment.