STUDENTS
28/02/2012 07:29 GMT

Byron Primary School, Bradford, Only Has 26 Native English Speakers Out Of 700 Pupils

A primary school has 26 out of 700 pupils who speak English as their native language but this has not stopped the school from receiving positive feedback from inspections body Ofsted and ranking high in league tables.

The rest of the pupils, who amount to 96.3% of the Bradford school's population, use another language, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed.

According to the FOI response, primary school children in Bradford speak 140 languages, ranging from Polish to Punjabi.

Despite the difficulties the school may face with communication and language barriers, the school ranks in the top 25% in the country based on its exam results. Nearly 80% of Year 6 pupils gaining the required English and maths standards, the Telegraph reported, a figure higher than the national average.

In its latest Ofsted report, the school was graded 2 for "good".

Ofsted inspector Kathleen McArthur commented: "At this good school, every pupil is known and valued as an individual due to the outstanding care, guidance and support they receive."

"Those learning English as an additional language make good progress in their learning."

Headteacher Richard O'Sullivan embraced the situation as an "opportunity, not a problem".

"Many of these teachers are exceptional linguists with the ability to switch between languages," he said.

But the report added in order to improve the school needed to further promote community cohesion by "extending pupil's awareness of other cultures and lifestyles both nationally and globally."

An FOI request made in July last year revealed Bradford Moor Primary school had 99% of its pupils with English as an additional language (EAL), while Victoria Primary School's EAL pupils made up 97.6%.