I received this from my colleague Ken Muller:
I’ve just had a very quick go at the new DfE tool for comparing schools.
One statistic which at first sight stood out was that 69.3 % of Mossbourne pupils have English as a first language. Living close to Mossbourne, this figure is surprisingly high to me, so I compared it with other local secondary schools.
Petchey Academy is even higher (71.8%). Stoke Newington School, however, is 40.3%, Haggerston 39.9%, Highbury Grove (in neighbouring Islington) 45.8% and Lamas (in neighbouring Waltham Forest) 38.7%.
Now, I have not researched the correlation between E2L and pupil performance – nor into whether there is any correlation at all between academy status and the proportion of E2L speaking pupils at a school. But the disparity between Mossbourne and other local community schools in this respect is striking. Could it go some way to explaining the high test and exam performance of its pupils?
Common sense, at least, (and personal, experience as a teacher) suggest to me that pupils having as their first language the language they are being taught in would give them some advantage.
I’d be interested in hearing what others think about this.