English as an additional language

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Dear Department for Education,

In your document 'School funding reform: Arrangements for 2013-14' it is stated that "Pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) often require additional support. We have considered the evidence on how much support is needed and, as we explained in March, have decided that 3 years – from the point at which the pupil enters compulsory education in England – should be sufficient. With early intervention, pupils with EAL can achieve well, even earlier.

Please can you provide me with the 'evidence' - on how much support is needed - and explain how you have arrived at the period of '3 years'.

Yours faithfully,

Karamat iqbal

Department for Education

Dear Karamat Iqbal

Thank you for your recent enquiry. A reply will be sent to you as soon as possible. For information; the departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2016-0002639.

Thank you

Department for Education
Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Tel: 0370 000 2288

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Department for Education

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Dear Karamat Iqbal,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 12 January. You requested:

In your document 'School funding reform: Arrangements for 2013-14' it is stated that "Pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) often require additional support. We have considered the evidence on how much support is needed and, as we explained in March, have decided that 3 years – from the point at which the pupil enters compulsory education in England – should be sufficient. With early intervention, pupils with EAL can achieve well, even earlier.
Please can you provide me with the 'evidence' - on how much support is needed - and explain how you have arrived at the period of '3 years'.

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Under section 21 of the Act, the Department is not required to provide information in response to a request if it is already reasonably accessible to you. Some of the information you requested is available online and links are provided below. The information you requested that is not already accessible is copied below and attached.
The arrangements for school funding in 2013-14 were informed by 2 consultations published in 2011, and a further consultation on proposals in 2012. These are published at:

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https://www.education.gov.uk/consultatio... (April 2011)
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https://www.education.gov.uk/consultatio... (July 2011)
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https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... (March 2012)

Evidence for additional support for pupils with English as an additional language (EAL)
The evidence on attainment at the time (for 2010/11) showed that EAL pupils attained less well than their non-EAL peers, with a gap of 5 percentage points at key stage 2 and 2.7 percentage points at key stage 4. This evidence is cited in the equality impact assessment for the 2012 school funding consultation, linked above. Equivalent attainment data for 2014/15 is published at:

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https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics... (key stage 2)
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https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics... (key stage 4)
Research in 2011 by the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC), and research commissioned by the Department from PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2009, also showed a link between fluency in English and educational attainment. The NALDIC report is published at http://www.naldic.org.uk/Resources/NALDI.... A copy of the PricewaterhouseCoopers report is attached.

Allowing local authorities to fund EAL pupils up to 3 years after they enter the school system
The attainment evidence published in the equality impact assessment showed that the gap for EAL pupils reduced over time, with a narrower gap at secondary level. The Department therefore considered that support should be time limited, and sought views on this in the July 2011 consultation. As stated in the 2012 publication, just over half of respondents agreed that EAL funding should be limited to a fixed period, and around a third thought that funding should be limited to 3 years after pupils enter the school system.

NALDIC’s report suggested it took around 3 years for pupils to become familiar with English, and a further 3 years to become a confident user of English. The report also noted the time it takes EAL pupils to learn English varied between individuals.
To identify EAL the Department uses data from the school census, which asks schools to record whether a child’s first language is English. ‘First’ here means the language to which a child was initially exposed during early development and that that they continue to be exposed to in their home or community. As such it captures children with a range of fluency in English.

Allowing local authorities to apply EAL for up to 3 years is intended to proxy for the level of additional need pupils have, and the additional funding that their school should therefore attract. In 2015-16 132 local authorities have included an EAL factor in their formulae, and 100 of these (101 at secondary) have applied it for pupils who have been in the school system for up to 3 years. Local authorities’ funding formulae for this year are published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....
The Government announced in November their intention to introduce a national funding formula for schools that would replace the current system with one that matches funding consistently to individual schools’ needs, based on their pupils’ characteristics. As we continue to develop our proposals, which we will consult on later this year, we will look carefully at the additional support that different pupil characteristics should attract.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can also be used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.

Most documents produced by a government department or agency will be protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be re-used under the Open Government Licence (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual Property Office’s website at www.ipo.gov.uk<http://www.ipo.gov.uk/>.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original consideration of your request.
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Yours sincerely,
Lorel Clafton

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