England

Jenny Lenkeit
Joshua McGrane
Oxford University

Language and Literacy

The official language in England, English is used to teach pupils in all publicly funded schools. England is a linguistically diverse country. In 2016, 20.1 percent of primary school pupils were exposed to another language at home, an increase from 16.8 percent in 2011.1 The 2011 census found the top 10 other most commonly spoken languages in England to be (in order): Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Arabic, French, Chinese languages, Portuguese, and Spanish. The most linguistically and ethnically diverse area is London. The official policy is to integrate all students into mainstream schools, providing support for those who speak English as an additional language. Some local authorities provide classes for newly arrived students and others wishing to develop their English language skills.2 At present, local authorities can choose to include a factor reflecting English as an additional language in their local formula for determining schools’ budgets. The government has proposed that the new national funding formula for schools replace current school funding arrangements from 2018 to 2019 and include an English as an additional language factor.