Just one per cent of pupils at one inner city primary school in Bradford speak English as their first language, according to new data.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also reveal that more than half of pupils do not speak English as their first language in more than a third of Bradford’s primary schools.

In three schools in the district, there are fewer than ten children who speak English as their first language.

The figures, provided by Bradford Council for every primary in the district, show that the lowest proportions of children who speak English as their first language are at Bradford Moor Primary, with just one per cent, Victoria Primary in Keighley, with two per cent, and St Philip’s Church of England Primary in Girlington, with three per cent.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said: “This is a totally unacceptable situation that primary schools find themselves in. For me it is one of the key factors as to why Bradford so under-performs nationally on education. Primary schools have got to presume that children can at least communicate in some form. Teachers are having to start with one hand tied behind their backs.”

He blamed parents for allowing their children to go to school without any grasp of English.

Kath Tunstall, Bradford Council's Strategic Director for Children's Services, said: "Language development is important for children across all ages and backgrounds. We need to support this by improving linguistic skills for all pupils to give them the best possible start in life.

"Schools do receive funding through their Ethnic Minority Achievement Grants to support children who have English as a second language. This support is welcomed by families who also have a responsibility to encourage their children to ensure they are able to speak English as well as being integral to the education delivered by schools."

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