MORE than 1,300 primary and secondary school pupils in Warrington do not speak English as their mother tongue.
At one school in Warrington, children use as many as 17 different languages, figures have revealed.
A Freedom of Information request to Warrington Borough Council has shown that 1,342 pupils in the area speak a language, other than English, as their first language, But the number could be even higher after the council was unable to provide information for academies.
Sixty nine pupils at Westbrook Old Hall speak no fewer than 17 different languages including Bengali, Chinese, Panjabi, Polish, Sindhi and Thai.
St Alban’s Catholic Primary School was revealed as having the highest proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language.
Almost 50 per cent of its pupils listed a language other than English as their mother tongue.
In total 91 pupils out of 187 at the school do not speak English as their first language.
Lithuanian, Malayalam, Tagalog and Urdu are just four of the 13 languages spoken at the school on Bewsey Road.
To help cope with the growing diversity of its pupils, schools with a high proportion of children, who list English as a second language, have been offered individual training for teachers and teaching assistants from the council.
A council spokesman added: “The council also commissions an interpreting service which schools can access to communicate more effectively with parents who don’t speak English.
“A forthcoming training event is to be held in Warrington and places have been allocated to all primary schools.
Across England, the number of pupils who have English as their second language has risen by a fifth to almost 1.1million in the past five years.
More than 15,288 primary and secondary schools provided the Department for Education with information about the first languages of their pupils as part of the annual schools census.
Out of those involved with the study, 1,755 schools attended by a total of 835,174 children had a minority of English speakers. This figure has risen by 10 per cent since 2009.
Top ten schools with the highest number of pupils who speak a language, other than English, as their first language:
1. St Alban’s Primary School
2. St Gregory’s High School
3. Westbrook Old Hall Primary School
4. Cardinal Newman High School
5. Beamont Community Primary School
6. Sacred Heart Primary School
7. St Philip (Westbrook) Primary School
8. Warrington St Barnabas’ Primary School
9. Bewsey Lodge Primary School
10. St Elphin’s (Fairfield) Primary School