A ‘late arrival premium’ is needed in the national funding formula

A ‘late arrival premium’ is needed in the national funding formula

The Education Policy Institute and The Bell Foundation have published a report on the educational outcomes of children with English as an Additional Language (EAL).

It reveals that thousands of children who arrive late into the English school system with English as an AEL perform poorly at GCSE.

Some EAL pupils, such as late arrivals with Pashto as a first language, score, on average, between an F and an E at GCSE in Attainment 8 having arrived into the English school system in Year 9.

At the other end of the scale, children with Chinese as their first language perform well, averaging between a B and a C at GCSE in Attainment 8 – despite having also entered secondary school in Year 9.

Pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) who arrived in Year 11 achieved an average of grade E at GCSE – which was at least two grades lower than their peers who arrived into the country in primary school.

This new analysis finds that some groups, including those with a first language of Pashto, Panjabi, Turkish, Portuguese, Czech and Slovak, perform below national standards in primary assessments – despite having entered the English school system at an early stage as infants.

Conversely, other groups, including Tamil, Chinese and Hindi pupils, perform above national standards at primary – despite having arrived in the school system as late as Year 5.

According to the report here is a “severe attainment penalty” for pupils arriving late into the English school system.

At GCSE level, pupils with EAL scored an average grade of a C if they arrived between reception and Year 7. This decreased to a grade of around a D if they arrived in Year 8, 9 or 10 – falling further to below an E if they arrived in Year 11.

These penalties apply to all language groups. Even for groups that seem to perform well when arriving late, such as Chinese pupils – attainment is still greatly affected, with performance significantly worse than early arriving Chinese pupils.

The EPI has recommended, as a result, a ‘late arrival premium’ in the national funding formula for schools to provide intensive support, and, in particular, to help address the large attainment differences between those arriving in Year 7 and those arriving later in Year 10 or 11.

It also calls for the government to develop new policies to generate and maintain EAL expertise in schools. Lessons can be drawn from other English-speaking jurisdictions – where there are effective policies for establishing specialist EAL roles, programmes for staff development and graduate level specialist qualifications.

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