On Monday, I have the pleasure of opening the English as an additional language conference. For those who do not know, there are 70 different languages spoken in our schools.
The most spoken language in Cornwall are Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese. Top nine (after English) are Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Hungarian, Spanish, Russian and Latvian.
All our secondary schools have EAL students with 572 EAL pupils in secondary schools (2%) and there are 1070 EAL pupils in primary schools which accounts for 2.6% of the school population. Furthermore, last year our schools organised exam qualifications in 13 different languages.
All these young people are included in the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) figures which are:
- 95% of all primary schools have at least one BME student
- Only 12 Primary schools 5% do not have a BME pupil
- 6.5% of primary school pupils are BME
- All secondary schools have BME pupils
- 5.5% Secondary pupils are BME
Supporting EAL young people in our schools comes under The Equality and Diversity Service who work strategically across the Children’s services and in partnership with schools and other agencies to promote Equality and Diversity in Cornwall. Their role is helping to source funding for interpreters, which can include six-week placements by support workers in schools carrying out special projects tailored to support schools and pupils. They do this in partnership by working with Early Years’ Service, multi agencies, settings and staff, internal and external organisations.
It is great to see this work being carried out and was really pleased to be able to speak at this conference.