EAL pupils outperform native English speakers at GCSE - Kevan Collins comments

There has been lots of coverage in today's media of new Department for Education data showing that children with English as their second language have outperformed native speakers at GCSEs for the first time. 

Here's our chief executive Sir Kevan Collins' comment, quoted in today's Daily Telegraph:

"For some time now, many pupils with English as their second language have made excellent progress throughout school. So it is good to see this group continuing to achieve highly at GCSE. Much of this is down to the hard work that teachers put into supporting them. However the EAL classification covers a broad spectrum of language needs. It can include a bilingually fluent child who has grown up here alongside a refugee who may need speak any English at all. And while, on average, EAL students do well at GCSE, within that classification there are still some groups of language speakers that struggle to make good progress and fall behind. It is important that we continue to focus on improving grades for all students, particularly those groups at risk of under-achievement. For those who aren’t native English speakers a good education helps them to thrive and engage with the community and country they live in. But for schools and teachers to do this on tight budgets, they need access to high-quality evidence of what does and doesn’t work.”

The EEF, in partnership with the Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy, are funding three trials to generate the high-quality evidence schools need to improve the attainment of those groups of EAL pupils most at risk of underachievement. Read more about these below...