British Kids Being Displaced from Schools in Peterborough
British children are being displaced from schools in Peterborough by a tidal wave of immigration which has hit that city, new reports have indicated.
Peterborough — already famous for having more than 15 destitute immigrant squatter camps on roundabouts and other public places — no faces a school crisis as well after the town has borne the brunt of more than 20,000 immigrants over the last two years.
The registrar general's population estimates for mid 2007 for Peterborough was some 163,300. This means that the population has leaped by more than 12 percent in two years, and now stands at around 185,000.
According to reports, emergency classrooms have had to be put up to cope with the demand for primary school places which has resulted, and indigenous children have largely lost their first-choice places by the tidal wave of newcomers.
A council statement issued this past week said that 252 children or 11 per cent of applicants had missed out on their first choice of primary school.
A further 101, or five per cent, were turned away from all of their choices and were instead offered “directed” places in schools that had spaces left.
Isabel Clark, head of school place planning, was quoted as saying that a “steep increase in demand” had caused pressures.
Apparently every class in every year group is already full and the council has “struggled” to place all 2,438 pupils due to start classes in September.
Official figures have shown that “immigrant communities” have accounted for 64 percent of Peterborough's population growth.
One local school, Fulbridge School, boasts no less than 27 languages amongst its 675 pupils, which means that eastern European languages alone have not accounted for the immigration upsurge.
In that school, just 200 children have English as a first language.
* A separate report from Manchester City Council revealed that at least 30 percent of pupils in that city speak English as a second language, while in at least three boroughs, Longsight, Cheetham and Rusholme where the number of non-English speakers rises top 70 percent.
In Newham, east London, English is a minority language in nine out of 10 schools, a situation replicated in 30 percent of all schools in Leicester and Blackburn, and 25 percent in Birmingham.