West London: Bi-lingual plan to rescue school

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Oct 26 14:20:45 UTC 2007

[image: BBC NEWS]
Bi-lingual plan to rescue school
  By Sean Coughlan
BBC News education reporter
*A west London comprehensive could be turned into a bi-lingual school,
partly-funded by the French government. *This would see the school using
both the French and English languages and their national curricula.
Hammersmith and Fulham council says it is "very interested" in proposals to
revitalise Hurlingham and Chelsea school in Fulham. At present, only a
quarter of pupils at the school reach the benchmark of five GCSEs including
English and maths.

The council says that it has been approached by the French government about
setting up a school using the French language, with part-funding on offer -
which could provide lessons for the children of French nationals in the
capital. "The possibility of developing a partnership between Hurlingham and
Chelsea and a Lycee Francais could be the basis of a very attractive offer,"
says a report into the borough's schools. The council wants its local
schools to become more attractive to residents of the borough.

At present, a council spokesperson says that many families send their
children to schools outside of the borough or to private schools - and that
it wants to create attractive and distinctive schools which will encourage
more families to use their local state schools. The creation of a bi-lingual
school could be part of this regeneration - and the council says it would be
of interest not only to French nationals, but also the growing population of
French-speaking families from Africa.

The school would in effect be two schools in one - with pupils able to
follow either the French or English curriculums. This could also be a boost
to longstanding concerns about the lack of modern language skills among
pupils at state secondary schools. The proposals are still at a discussion
stage - but if they are adopted, the council says the school would be
re-launched in about 2012. A French and English bi-lingual primary school
has already been set up in London. The Wix school in Battersea, south London
is working with the Ecole Charles de Gaulle, funded by the French embassy.
Story from BBC NEWS:

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