A TORY came under fire at Kirklees Council over his claim that bilingual teaching workers are a waste of money in schools.
One worker who spoke to the full council meeting accused Clr Imtiaz Ameen of misplaced and dangerous ideas.
The Tory councillor had said that employing the assistants discouraged pupils from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds from speaking English.
Sabeera Mulla, a bilingual worker at Savile Town Early Years Unit in Dewsbury, said: "His proposals will set community integration back 20 years."
She spoke out as the classroom assistants were defended for their vital role in helping Asian children who started at school speaking very little English.
Mrs Mulla said: "I have now worked in this post for 17 years. I have watched all my pupils learn and grow into responsible adults.
"I have been important in helping them to access further and higher education."
Clr Ameen, a councillor for Thornhill, said the employment of bilingual teaching assistants wasted a large slice of £4m given by the Government for the council's Ethnic Minority Achievement project.
Bibi Laher, head at Spring Grove Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Springwood, told the meeting: "They are a fundamental part of continuing our successful drive to raise standards of learning."