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Immigrant children in schools have near-zero effect on educational results of native-born children

Two separate studies published in the August 2013 issue of the Economic Journal indicate that we should not be concerned about the growing proportion of children in England”s primary schools for whom languages other than English are their mother tongue and also that the educational achievement of native children is almost completely unaffected by the presence of immigrant children

Research by Dr Asako Ohinata and Professor Jan van Ours, did not find&##160;strong evidence of negative spillover effects on the test scores from immigrant children to native Dutch children. Read the briefing here.

In a separate study,&##160;research by Charlotte Geay, Sandra McNally and Shqiponja Telhaj finds that the increased presence of children who do not speak English as their first language is not detrimental to the educational attainment of native English speakers. Indeed, evidence from Catholic schools attended by the children of Polish immigrants suggests that the presence of non-native English speakers might – in some cases, at least – have a positive effect on natives” results.

The number of non-native speakers of English in primary schools in England has increased by a third in recent years. Now, roughly one in nine children between the ages of 5 and 11 do not speak English as a first language. A significant driver of this change has been immigration, though the trend has also been influenced by higher birth rates among ethnic minority groups.