172 languages in schools

Youngsters in London’s schools speak 172 different languages according to a survey published by the Inner London Education Authority.

A survey published by the Inner London Authority found that the number of Bengali speakers has tripled to 16,976 since 1981, and that the number of Vietnamese speakers has risen six-fold to 1,028 in the same period.

Overall, the second most common language was Turkish (4,495) followed by Chinese (4,325). Next came Gujerati (3,930), Urdu (3,808), Spanish (3,229), Punjabi (3,200), Arabic (3,067) and Greek (2,596).

Variety of languages spoken in London schools

The most commonly spoken languages vary from area to area with Bengali top in the borough of Tower Hamlets, East London, and Spanish top in Chelsea, West London.

At Holland Park Comprehensive in West London pupils speak a total of 50 different languages