Leeds inner city school to teach English as a second language in a bid to raise standards

The head teacher of an inner city school that plans to teach English as a second language to all pupils has said it is a “farce” that her school should be expected to meet the government’s benchmark standards.  

The City of Leeds School, in Woodhouse Moor, hoped to start the new scheme next week – but plans have been pushed back until the school is granted academy status later this year.

The plans are to teach English as a second language to all 314 pupils who have come from abroad, as well as those who were born within the U.K.

Head teacher Georgina Sale, said the scheme would support the 65%-70% of children who have come from abroad.

She also believes that the programme will have a positive effect on those born in the U.K. who may not have a proper understanding of the English language.

Children with English as an additional language are, in some circumstances, withdrawn from class to work in smaller, more intensive, groups to help bolster their chances of obtaining 5 A*-C grades at GCSE.

But Ms Sale outlined the impracticality of withdrawing pupils from class and said: “If I withdrew children from class there would only be a few children left.”

Ms Sale said it was “a farce” to expect a school with such a high number of children who speak English as an additional language to get 40% of its pupils to gain 5 A*-C grades, including English, at GCSE.

“It is like you and me going to Germany and taking their equivalent of GCSEs and being expected to get a good grade,” she said.

However, Ms Sale has said that the school will not be making additions to their faculty, but will instead train existing staff to teach the new 50 minute English lessons to improve their basic grammar and spelling.

City of Leeds School also has an annual turnover of around 50%, meaning many children who come to the school one year will not return the following school year.

 

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