The UK school system is huge, with more than 8 million school pupils across 24,000 schools.
These schools cut across all different elements of society, and incorporates the diverse cultural backgrounds from which these children come. It is this diversity that means that there are more than a million children in UK schools that speak 311 different languages and dialects.
This creates a language challenge within the education system. Depending on the demographics of different areas, this can be either a small challenge or a huge one.
In some schools English may not be the first language of a majority of pupils. This fact means that the education system has to be adaptive to the needs of schools in different areas.
Official statistics reveal there are classrooms in which the majority language is not English, but is Polish, Bengali, Somali, Gujarati, Arabic, Tamil and the Afghan language Pashto.
Overcoming this challenge is one that requires identifying the right needs and assigning the right resources quickly and efficiently to where they are needed.
Teaching In Languages Other Than English
Another language factor can be when the administration or reporting of the school is carried out in more than one language. This can be a factor for faith schools, where the core language used in the religion is not English.
These languages can be in different alphabets, and formatted in a different way to English. This creates a challenge to administration; tracking and reporting may be required in multiple languages, particularly if parents do not speak English as a first language.
This is something we have experience in facilitating through our School Reporting System. We have designed our system with language and curriculum needs of different school systems in mind.
This allows our software to be produced in a number of different languages; this flexibility has proven hugely beneficial when working with faith schools.