We estimate the number of foreign born children in Oldham schools increased by between 700% and 800% in just four years. We are challenging Oldham Labour Council to display their so called transparent democracy and come clean on both migration pressures in central Oldham and misleading information of service pressures from OAP’s in Oldham who’s numbers are lower now than in 2013.
Our freedom of information request:
After a 372% increase in 2 years how many foreign born children are now attending Oldham schools?
Oldham Council produced a document titled “Link_Governor_Report_9_May_2017___PDF” in 2017 which was publicly accessible via the Oldham Council website. The main focus of this document was “An Overview of EAL Performance from Early Years to Key Stage 4” contained in this document was information that showed the number of foreign born children in Oldham schools had increased by 372% in just two financial years from 318 in 2013/14 to 1182 in 2015/16.
Oldham Council’s local plan update document also from 2017 and also publicly available contained the statement that “Oldham’s older population (65+) is higher than the Greater Manchester and England averages” parts of this statement are misleading and parts are wholly untrue. At the time the local plan update was produced 17.9% of the population of England fell into the 65 or older age bracket whereas 15.8% of the Oldham population fell into the 65 or older age group which made Oldham’s aged population 11.7% lower than England’s. As Oldham Council was aware the Greater Manchester average was and is greatly skewed by the inclusion of the university city of Manchester and to a lesser degree Salford. These cities have fewer OAP’s because of student numbers and unsuitable city centre housing and these are the only two of the ten Greater Manchester authority areas with less OAP’s than Oldham. Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan all have considerably more OAP’s than Oldham. DWP figures show that between August 2013 and August 2017 the number of state pension claimants in Oldham fell by 562.
Oldham Council’s publicly available “Oldham in profile” document from February 2018 states “Oldham is predominantly white (77.5%) with Pakistani heritage (10.1%) and Bangladeshi heritage (7.3%) as the largest non-white minorities. Oldham has a higher proportion (22.5%) of non-white residents than Greater Manchester (16.3%) or England (14.3%). This value has increased significantly from 13.9% in 2001” This information is from the 2011 census and is seven years out of date a seven year period which has seen the highest rates of immigration in Oldham ever recorded.
(1) How many foreign born children attended Oldham schools in the financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18.
(2) Why is information relating to the huge increase in foreign born children in Oldham schools only available in obscure documents the Council never expect the public to see and is the Council deliberately withholding the information from the public?
(3) Why is the Council misleading the general public on the impact the aged population is currently having on Oldham services during a period when numbers have been in steady decline?
(4) Why is the Council misleading the general public on the ethnic makeup of Oldham’s population in 2018 by using data they know to be outdated and subsequently inaccurate?