First bilingual state school in England approved

Anthea Fraser Gupta A.F.Gupta at
Mon Jul 4 18:29:09 UTC 2005

And notice that this is in French, not in one of languages that are widely spoken by minority communities in the UK (such as Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati...). It's not even Welsh, a language that participates in bilingual education in one region of the UK. Nor in British Sign Language, which is spoken all over the UK across ancestral ethnic groups.
Plus ├ža change.....

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: owner-lgpolicy-list at on behalf of Harold F. Schiffman 
	Sent: Mon 04/07/2005 15:15 
	To: Language Policy-List 
	Subject: First bilingual state school in England approved

	>From BBC News,
	Bilingual primary school to open
	The first bilingual state school in England has been approved - with
	lessons in French and English.  The project in the Wix School in
	Battersea, south London, is to be supported by the French embassy. Pupils
	joining the bilingual class will follow the national curriculum but will
	study all subjects in both languages throughout the primary school.
	The initiative is the result of co-operation with the Lycee Charles de
	Gaulle, a French school in London. Both the Wix school and the Lycee
	Charles de Gaulle will admit 14 pupils each to the bilingual class from
	September 2006. This will be repeated every year, creating a "bilingual
	stream" at the Wix school, alongside classes taught solely in English.
	The Lycee Charles de Gaulle's primary class and the Wix school occupy
	different floors of the same building and have built up co-operation over
	a period of time.
	'Immense asset'
	Wandsworth Council says it is responding to parents' desire for their
	children to learn languages at a younger age, and wants to offer children
	the chance to become bilingual early in life. Once the children leave the
	Wix school, they would move into the secondary school system as normal.
	Wandsworth hopes to open more bilingual schools in the future, both
	primary and secondary.
	Wandsworth cabinet member for education Malcolm Grimston said: "A second
	language is best learned when you are young. And if the language becomes
	the medium for teaching the curriculum, the skills are obtained even more
	naturally. "To be bilingual is an immense asset both culturally and in
	employment." The bilingual class is expected to be oversubscribed, but the
	authority stressed that the usual admissions arrangements for state
	primary schools would remain.
	Admissions rules
	"We are not trying to cream off the more linguistically able," spokesman
	Steve Mayner said. "All applicants will have to meet the usual criteria,
	and the final deciding factor would be the distance of their home from the
	school, and whether they had siblings here." "We expect applications from
	children from a variety of backgrounds.  Children whose parents are French
	would not be given priority either," Mr Mayner said.
	The bilingual curriculum is currently being developed by the head teachers
	of both schools. The proposal was approved by the education overview and
	scrutiny committee, which will also report on the school's curriculum and
	admissions arrangements in September. In response to longstanding concerns
	about the lack of foreign language skills in England, the government has
	promised that all primary school pupils, aged 7 to 11, will receive
	language lessons by the end of the decade.
	Story from BBC NEWS:

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