Field Lane School in Batley one of the best in England

Three Kirklees and Calderdale primary schools have turned in five-star performances despite half of their pupils speaking English as a second language.



Field Lane Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley is the most extreme example with 97.7 per cent of its pupils not having English as their first language.

This is the one of the highest proportions for any primary school in England, according to the Department for Education.

Yet, despite this potential impediment to performing well as a school, Field Lane was recently awarded five out of five stars in the Examiner Real Schools Guide, making it one of the best in England.

The Real Schools Guide combines a range of different statistics to rate schools based on factors such as attainment, teaching, progress and attendance.

The aim of the guide is to move beyond exam result rankings and examine the true impact of a school on the learning of its pupils.

Another school with an extremely high percentage of children not having English as their first language is Beech Hill Junior and Infant School in Halifax which also achieved five stars in the Real Schools Guide despite 94.5 per cent of pupils speaking English in addition to their mother tongue.

The third school, Spring Grove Junior Infant and Nursery School in Huddersfield, has 81.1 per cent of pupils speak English as an additional language. It too received five stars in the Real Schools Guide.

Across the whole of England 1,343 schools have a cohort where at least half of pupils speak English as a second language. In the average primary school 6.3 per cent of pupils speak English as a second language.

However, schools where the majority of pupils didnít have English as their first language actually performed better on average in the Real Schools Guide than those that did.

They achieved an average of 3.2 stars compared to 3 for those where more than half spoke English as their mother tongue.

However, in Calderdale and Kirklees this relationship was the other way around with schools where more than half of pupils spoke English as their first language performing slightly better on average with 2.9 stars compared to 2.5. Examiner