More than a quarter of primary school children are from an ethnic minority – an increase of almost half a million since 1997, it emerged yesterday.
The Government’s annual school census painted a picture of a changing Britain where schools are under mounting pressure from mass immigration.
In some areas, only 8 per cent of primary pupils are from a white British background. Nearly one million children aged five to 16 – 957,490 – speak English as a second language, up from almost 800,000 five years ago.
And 26.5 per cent of primary pupils – 862,735 – are from an ethnic minority. When Labour took office in 1997, the total was 380,954. At secondary level, the total of ethnic minority children – 723,605 – has risen from 17.7 per cent to 22.2 per cent in five years.
The biggest group of ethnic minority pupils were Asians, making up 10 per cent of primary pupils and 8.3 per cent of secondary pupils.
The number from ‘other white backgrounds’ in primaries has almost doubled since 2004 – from 74,500 to 136,880 – reflecting arrivals from Eastern Europe and other new EU member states.