Office for National Statistics resource: International migration and the education sector

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published an overview of the current evidence on the impact and contribution of international migration on the education sector. The resource provides interactive tools to see the current evidence broken down by area.

The resource covers children in state-funded primary and secondary schools, and does not include nurseries, further education, higher education or independent schools unless otherwise stated. It focuses on England, though a follow-up is planned including data for the rest of the UK.

Main findings of the evidence include:

  • The main reason for changes in demand for school places is the number of children being born, rather than international migration.
  • Around 7% of pupils in state primary schools, and 10% in state secondary schools, were born outside the UK.
  • At age 7, pupils with English as a second language show slightly lower attainment than those whose first language is English – however, this difference disappears by age 16.
  • No relationship was found between the proportion of pupils speaking English as a second language in an area and overall attainment in that area.
  • International migration contributes to the workforce in schools, with around 12% of school staff in England born outside the UK in 2015 to 2017.

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