UK: School where all pupils will be taught English as a foreign language

Pupils at the comprehensive come from nations around the world, and a minority are native English speakers

A school with pupils from more than 50 countries is to teach them all English as a foreign language.

City of Leeds comprehensive, which has been transformed by the arrival of large numbers of migrants, is thought to be the first in the country to take the extraordinary step.

At the last count it had on its books 55 nationalities and 50 languages or dialects, from Czech to Urdu.

The new class will be compulsory for the 15% of pupils who are native English speakers.

Georgiana Sale, who is the headteacher, said they would gain as much as foreigners because their skills were so poor.

Giving a sobering overview of the problems faced by her staff, she said: “Many of our pupils are not only new to English but they are not even literate in their own language. In some cases we are the first people to put a pen in their hand.”

She said she believed her school was the first to teach English as a foreign language to all its pupils…

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Keep those “high-flyers” coming, Mr Cameron.