The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association today called on the Scottish Government to assist children from the Polish and other incoming communities with the language barriers which exist in many Scottish schools.

"SSTA members are increasingly alerting us to the problems faced by Polish children, and children of other nationalities, in dealing with language barriers in schools" said David Eaglesham General Secretary.

"The recent large increase in the number of Polish, Romanian, and other eastern European families settling in Scotland has put considerable strain on our schools. Many of the children of these families have little or no English language and need additional support to make full use of the education services on offer. These children are excellent in their attendance, and their willingness to learn, but much more assistance with translation from their mother tongue into English is required."

The problem is experienced widely across Scotland, although certain areas have particular problem with the number of children involved and the lack of qualified teachers or interpreters.

"We must ensure that all of the young people in Scotland's schools are allowed to achieve their maximum potential "said Mr Eaglesham. "The Government needs to examine current provision and to increase resources in this crucial area if these young people are to make their full contribution to a modern Scotland. We must not allow short term language barriers to impede the education of these young people."

Further information from

David Eaglesham

General Secretary 21 December 2007