The results of the 2012 School Census show that the number of learners in state schools who speak a language other than English at home in England has topped the million mark for the first time.
The School Census, undertaken in January 2012 by the Department for Education, shows that one in six or 577,555 primary school pupils is an English as an Additional Language (EAL) learner. This rise is matched in the secondary figure which stands at 417,765, or 12.9% of the secondary school population. When pupils in special schools and pupil referral units are included, the total number of bilingual pupils in English state schools is 1,007,090.
While figures haven’t yet been published for the languages other than English that the pupils speak, in the 2011 census Panjabi was the most spoken (113,195), followed by Urdu (103,730), Bengali (85,210) and Polish (47,135).