UK: Help for schools with EU pupils

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Oct 25 12:21:30 UTC 2006

Help for schools with EU pupils

The government is earmarking 400,000 to help schools teaching more foreign
pupils as a result of EU expansion. The Department for Education said the
programme would help schools with little experience of teaching pupils who
have limited knowledge of English. It comes as the Home Office detailed
work restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, when the states
join the EU on 1 January 2007. About 10% of pupils in England are learning
English as a second language. But the government added that the accession
of eight ex-communist states in 2004 had meant more were being taken on by
schools with little experience of teaching them.

The Home Office had predicted that 15,000 migrant workers may come to the
UK in a year after 2004 - but 600,000 arrived in two years, many bringing
their families, with young children. In January an investigation for the
BBC's Newsnight discovered there were 3,000 Polish immigrants living in
Crewe, which has a total working population of about 60,000. Local schools
and public services in the town complained they were under pressure to
cope with the influx. In a written statement to Parliament, Home Secretary
John Reid said the open-door policy had been a success because migrant
workers had filled skills gaps. But he acknowledged some schools had had
to cope with a "significant rise"  in pupils, while some councils had
reported overcrowding in private housing.

Support is given to schools through the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant,
which helps underachieving ethnic minority pupils and those learning
English as an additional language. But the two-year programme announced on
Tuesday will focus on those local authorities for whom it is a new issue.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Excellence Programme will be
based in London and spread best practice.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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