Management Information Sheet

Census - EAL data and funding

MI Sheet TypeAction
To Be Completed By: 03/05/2021
MI Number:61/21
Publication Date:30/04/2021 12:00:00
LA Contact:Tanya Ingram (01603303339)
Audience:Head teachers / Data managers / EAL Co-ordinators

Census - EAL data and funding

EAL funding, which is paid to schools and academies, is triggered by the data provided on pupils' FIRST language in the October census. Some schools have data systems which require HOME language to be filled in too, but it is the FIRST language information which is used in terms of identifying EAL pupils. The HOME language option can be switched off.

It is also important that pupils' correct FIRST language is recorded, even if the child is very competent in English. The DoE definition of EAL is:

'First language is the language to which the child was initially exposed during early development and continues to use this language in the home and community. If a child acquires English subsequent to early development then English is not their first language no matter how proficient in it they become.'

It is important to avoid recording children's languages in the following categories and to accurately record the language of the home:

  • Other than English
  • Believed to be other than English
  • Other language
  • Information not obtained
  • Believed to be English

For a number of Norfolk schools, the majority of your EAL cohort are classified under these categories. The EAL Advisory team have collaborated with some of these already to resolve the issues.

'For a number of years we (Hellesdon High) had an issue with our EAL identification on SIMS. This was flagged when we submitted the census each year. For the first language section on SIMS we could only select 'English' or 'Other than English', so were only able to specify the language under the first language section.

Through contact with SIMS we discovered that by downloading the 'First Language Secondary All' file from CAPITA and importing it into SIMS we were able to input the specific language for each child under the first language section.'

Allison McLellan (Asst. Principle)

If your data system does not appear to have a drop down list of languages under FIRST language, then we recommend that you contact your MIS provider to ask them to rectify this. This is usually solved with a simple downloadable update.

Accurate data regarding the languages spoken in Norfolk schools is of great value to our EAL Advisory team and helps us support our EAL cohort.

If you have any difficulties with this issue or require support with EAL provision, then please contact