Poor English blamed for 'failing schools' in Slough

Pupils with poor English are part of the reason why a fifth of Slough primary schools are on special measures, said a school governor.

Five out of 24 primary schools (20%) failed Ofsted inspections in Slough, compared to the national average of 7%.

Geoff Howard, a primary school chair of governors, said the council needed to "pour resources" into helping children with English as a second language.

Slough council said governing bodies were responsible for their own schools.

Mr Howard is chair of governors at Western House Primary School which failed its Ofsted inspection in January. The national average is calculated between September 2009 and August 2010.

The council has applied to have the governing body removed and replaced.

Mr Howard cites the "marked increase" in the number of ethnic minority pupils with little or no English as a reason why his school and other Slough primary schools are failing.

"I want the council to pour resources into overcoming these problems," he said.

Slough council leader Rob Anderson said that the Ofsted report on Western House highlighted a lack of "leadership abilities" and that Mr Howard was "looking for someone to blame".

He said that teaching in Slough was "very difficult" because of the amount of pupils with English as a second language, "but it should never be used as an excuse for poor performance".

"Our top performing primary school has 65% of its children with English as a second language," he added.

"That is more than double that of Western House school."

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