YEP Says, March 24: English lessons will help ensure pupils are not left behind

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Eyebrows will be raised but school’s move is a sensible one.

THE fact that a growing number of schoolchildren don’t speak English as their first language raises a number of issues.

First and foremost there must be a concern as to the prospects of these youngsters – who on average make up one in six of school pupils in the country – both during their academic years and those that follow.

If their English is not up to scratch then they have little hope of keeping up in all their lessons – not just in English but everything from history to maths and science.

Then there is the impact on other children if the time and attention of teachers is taken up with helping pupils who are struggling with a language barrier.

So while eyebrows might be raised over the plan by City of Leeds school to start teaching English as a foreign language, its high number of students who speak no English at all makes it a sensible move.

And it’s not just children arriving from overseas who will benefit, but native English speakers who will also be taught basic English as some of them have problems with basic language and literacy.

The key thing is that the children are brought up to speed as quickly as possible so they can follow what’s happening in class and are able to broaden their learning. At the same time, however, it’s important that this effort doesn’t divert attention and resources from the job of educating their fellow students.

Vinnie’s much needed United rallying cry

A WARRIOR on the pitch for Leeds United during his distinguished – if sometimes controversial – career, it was great to see Vinnie Jones back at Elland Road at the weekend.

Delivering the team talk before Saturday’s clash with Millwall, he will have left today’s crop of players in no doubt as to what it means to pull on the white shirt.

Vinnie played for the club during one of its most successful seasons, winning promotion back to the old first division in 1990.

Let’s hope his rallying cry can inspire the players to live up to that glorious past and restore some pride in the games that are left this season.

Bernard Kenny, the man who risked his own life to try and save MP Jo Cox, has died.

YEP Says: Bernard Kenny, a real national hero