Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

pupils listen to story-2Nearly half the primary school children and 40% of the secondary pupils in London do not speak English as their first language. In some boroughs three quarters of the students speak English as a second language.

Data from the Department for Education shows how numbers have increased across the country since 2007, but the multi-national make up of London stands out. Across the country 19% of primary pupils have English as a second language. In the South West and North East it is just 7%. In London the average is 49%.

English second lang primary

The picture is similar for secondary school students. 15% of pupils across England are, using the Depart for Education criteria, known or believed to have a first language other than English. In London it is 41%.

English second lang secondary

London is broadly a multi-lingual city with 50% or more primary pupils speaking English as a second language in 16 of the 33 areas. Tower Hamlets and Newham have the highest proportion, 75%. The levels are also high in richer areas like Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and the City of London.

English second lang map

The proportion is only in line or lower than the national average in the outer boroughs of Havering, Bexley and Bromley.

Source data

See also

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

Private school? Depends where you live

Newham formally lists fewer kids for special needs support than other boroughs