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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 15:31 GMT
Ethnic language classes scrapped
A school in London is to scrap its policy of teaching science to Turkish children in their ethnic language.

The new head teacher of White Hart Lane School in Tottenham says the system did little to improve results.

About 400 of the school's pupils speak Turkish and those taking GCSE science had been given bi-lingual lessons.

But results for this group and for other students remained stubbornly low, with only 23% getting a grade C or higher at GCSE.

The system was introduced in 2001 and the plan had been to extend it to Somali pupils, according to the Times Educational Supplement (TES).

More than 70% of pupils there have English as a second language and 65 different languages are spoken.

At the time, the idea was praised by the then education minister Stephen Twigg.

But new head teacher Joan McVittie was concerned the scheme might deter Turkish pupils from mixing with others.

"The children should be proud of their heritage," she told the TES.

"But these are young people growing up in London. We need to prepare them for work and life in London, so when they are in school they should communicate in English."

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