White British pupils make less progress than ethnic minorities

Published on Telegraph.co.uk, by Graeme Paton, Education Editor, Sept. 15, 2010.

White British children are falling behind pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds as they receive less attention from teachers in some schools, research suggests.

They start compulsory education way ahead of children from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and black African families but fail to make the same progress, it was claimed … //

… Last year, some 50.9 per cent of white British pupils gained five good GCSEs, including the key subjects of English and mathematics. 

This compared with 67 per cent of Pakistani children, and 69.9 per cent of pupils from Chinese families.

Some 48.4 per cent of black African, 42.9 per cent of Pakistani and 48.3 per cent of Bangladeshi pupils hit the target.

The study said that ethnic minority children “significantly under-performed” in early cognitive tests taken aged three and five compared with those from white British backgrounds.

“Remarkably, with the exception of black Caribbean pupils, ethnic minority pupils gain substantially relative to white British pupils throughout primary and compulsory schooling,” the report said.

The report said language was the “single most important contributor to the catch-up or overtaking” of ethnic minority pupils relative to their white British classmates, suggesting that performance improved as they developed their English. (full text).

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