UK & World News
English Not The First Language In 240 Schools
There are 240 schools in England where over 90% of students do not speak English as a first language, according to official figures analysed by Sky News.
In the last academic year, Department of Education census figures reveal five primary schools in England - of nearly 17,000 in total - had no native speakers, with 100% of their pupils speaking English as a second language.
Sky News has visited one of the five schools - the Sacred Heart Primary School in Tipton, West Midlands - which has since admitted three native speakers.
Staff at the primary school believe they have a winning formula for teaching children from a diverse community.
English is the second language for 95% of the school's 128 pupils - the vast majority of them with parents from Pakistan or Bangladesh.
Sacred Heart Primary has recently won a regional award for its inclusive policy and standards of education.
Head teacher Melanie Gee told Sky News she takes a pragmatic approach: "Our school is really no different to any other. We have a curriculum and all the lessons are taught in English.
"We have got bilingual staff. Children in the very early days will probably communicate to the staff in nursery in their home language, but within a couple of weeks we find that they are communicating in English.
"The majority of our bilingual staff, if we use them, are actually to communicate more with the parents rather than with the children."
The school has children who speak Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, French, Polish and Tamil as well as English.
Helen Pflaumer, ethnic minority achievement leader at Sacred Heart, said they encourage the children to interact with staff in English the majority of the time.
"There may be an occasion where if they want to discuss something in more depth we can say use your home language if that's going to be easier for you.
"But obviously we tend to feed back in English largely because of the English speaking teachers. The children pick up English so quickly and they and the parents are very happy about that."
Occasionally, says Ms Gee, they need to bring in an interpreter which stretches the budget. But she maintains that it never compromises the running of the school.
:: Immigration UK: A week of special coverage on Sky from October 14 to 18 - watch on Sky 501, Virgin Media 602, Freesat 202, Freeview 82, Skynews.com and Sky News for iPad