Pupils: Languages:Written question - 39310

Q
Asked by William Wragg
(Hazel Grove)
[N]
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Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Education
Pupils: Languages
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what were the 10 foreign languages most spoken by pupils for whom English is listed as an additional language in the annual school census in (a) 2000 and (b) 2015; and how many pupils were recorded as speaking each of those languages in each of those years.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 07 July 2016
Holding answer received on 09 June 2016

The Department does not hold pupil level data on languages for the year 2000. In the January 2015 school census, the most common languages to which pupils of compulsory school age and above are exposed outside school and the number and proportion of pupils exposed to them are given in the table below.

Language

Number of Pupils (1)

Percentage of all pupils

English

5,634,349

82.1

Urdu

123,530

1.8

Panjabi

91,406

1.3

Polish

90,506

1.3

Other than English (not specified)

84,139

1.2

Bengali

74,635

1.1

Somali

46,361

0.7

Arabic

41,951

0.6

Gujarati

40,735

0.6

Portuguese

29,759

0.4

Tamil

29,634

0.4

Believed to be other than English (not specified)

29,221

0.4

French

26,290

0.4

Source: School Census January 2015
(1) Includes sole and dual main registered pupils of compulsory school age and above. Includes pupils in all state-funded schools excluding general hospital schools and local authority alternative provision.

The languages recorded in the school census only indicate a pupil’s exposure to a non-English language outside of school. They are not a measure of English speaking proficiency, an indication of the language spoken in school, or a direct measure of immigration.

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