Tabloid Groundhog Day *UPDATE*

When I posted 'Tabloid Groundhog Day', I had requested the study from the DfES that the Express claimed showed that:
HALF of all schoolchildren in many of Britain’s biggest cities do not speak English as their first language, an alarming report has revealed.
I didn't get a reply for a while, but I just got one pointing me to the actual figures by city. So how many of Britain's biggest cities have half of all schoolchildren speaking English as a second language?


To find anywhere with a total of 50% or more pupils speaking English as a second language, you have to split London into component parts. If you split it into just Inner London and Outer London, you get one city with more than 50% speaking English as a second language - Inner London. If you split it into boroughs, you get 7 Inner London and 4 Outer London boroughs, out of a total of 33. But individual London boroughs do not qualify as Britain's biggest cities. London's overall average is 38%. (32% for Outer and 52% for Inner). England's total is 12%. So when the paper said 'many of Britain's biggest cities' it wasn't telling the truth. It meant 'some parts of Britain's biggest city', which is exactly what I thought.

Even if we're generous and count cities with over 40% as having half speaking English as a second language, we get only two - Leicester and Slough. We get another 6 London boroughs, but they don't change London's overall 38% level. In short, the only way you'd ever get more than one of Britain's biggest cities with half its pupils speaking English as a second language is if you cheat, and you'd kind of have to cheat to get that one.

So, the Express tell fibs again. Any surprises?

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