London, Apr.12 (ANI): Around one in seven youngsters in primary schools, almost 500,000, do not have English as their first language. In secondary schools the figure stands at 364,000, just over one in 10.
Immigration is leading to English becoming a second language in schools across Britain, figures have revealed.
Since 1997, the number of schools in which more than 50 per cent of pupils have English as their second language has almost doubled.
Critics said the figures reflected the "splintering of society" as a result of the UK's inefficient border controls under Labour.
Pupils with English as their first language now find themselves in the minority in more than 1,500 schools across the country.
The shocking figures, released under a Freedom of Information request, show that in 1997 there were 866 schools in England where more than 50 per cent of pupils spoke a foreign language as their mother tongue.
However, by 2009 this figure had rocketed to 1,545 schools, a rise of 78 per cent during the time that Labour has been in power.
The statistics, released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, reveal there are now 1,284 primary schools, 210 secondary schools and 51 special schools where more than half the pupils come from a non- English speaking background.
John Paul, from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: Teachers needed more financial support. Ideally, if you have one child in a class, you would like to know they are getting an hour a week with a second language expert to give them the opportunity to ask questions about the things they don't understand."
Figures show that London, frequently the arrival point for immigrants, has seen the largest increases, with 369,170 pupils now foreign speakers. (ANI)