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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:30 am 
Ethnic minority children are top of the class
by LAURA CLARK - More by this author » Daily Mail Sat 9th Feb 2007

Last updated at 22:00pm on 9th February 2007

Ethnic minority children are making better progress at school than white pupils in almost every part of the country, research revealed yesterday.

Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and black African pupils are improving more quickly between the ages of 11 and 16.

More here...
• 80,000 pupils 'go to underperforming schools'

Researchers believe the trend - apparent in virtually every local authority area in England - can be explained by contrasting attitudes to education between ethnic minority and white communities.

The study found that Asian families in particular emphasise to their children the importance of a good education for getting on in life.

Some white parents may not have the same high aspirations for their children's success at school.

For the study, Bristol University researchers compared pupils' results in national tests for 11-year-olds and their GCSE results five years later.

They then analysed whether white pupils were improving faster or slower than their ethnic minority counterparts.

The research found that the progress of Chinese and Pakistani pupils was higher than white pupils in all of England's local authorities.

For Indian pupils, it was higher in 99 per cent of authorities.

The figures for black African and Bangladeshi pupils were 98 per cent and 97 per cent respectively.

The only group for whom progress was less marked than whites were black Caribbean children.

They did better than white youngsters in only 49 per cent of authorities, while the figure for the "black other" group was 55 per cent.

A further analysis, examining how many individual schools were registering slower progress for white children, showed similar patterns.

The researchers, led by Dr Deborah Wilson, did not believe the figures could be explained entirely by minority groups "catching up" with their white counterparts.

In fact, Indian and Chinese pupils began with better results at age seven, and pulled even further ahead as they grew older.

Other groups, including Bangladeshi, Pakistani and black African youngsters, started their school careers behind whites but had significantly narrowed the gap by the time they took their GCSEs.

Latest official figures show how 57.2 per cent of white pupils achieve five good GCSEs - a yardstick of secondary school achievement - compared with 79.3 per cent of Chinese children and 71.4 per cent of Indian.

Bangladeshi pupils are on 56.2 per cent, Pakistani pupils 50.9 per cent, black African 50.3 per cent and black Caribbean 44.4 per cent.

Opposition politicians have suggested a lack of funding for raising the attainment of white pupils, especially working-class boys, as a possible reason for their slower progress.

However the Bristol University study, recently cited by the Blairite think-tank the Institute of Public Policy Research, argues that aspirations and values instilled in pupils by their families and wider communities may be the cause.

Since the differences in progress are virtually uniform across the country, the researchers believe the reasons are likely to be unconnected with schools.

They suggest that "differential aspirations and the importance ascribed to education" could be one factor.

Dr Wilson's research cites previous studies pointing to high aspirations among immigrant communities, who "almost by definition" are "keen to get on in life".

"If qualifications are seen as highly functional to social progress, then it makes sense to focus particular effort at that point" her study said.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:40 am 
I agree, just go along to Camphill or KEHS and you can see the number of children from the ethnic background. However, this has nothing to do with race or creed etc, it's the recognition by parents of these children for the need to get a good education and persue a career from these achievements. I am a east african asian, raised in the 70's/80's and I remember my father teaching us the importance of a good education. As he said, you can loose your job, but they can't take away your qualifications. As we become more global, and travel becomes easier, a good education will open opportunties in other parts of the world. I think the article is wrong in using terms to describe colour as a basis for the debate. The underlying facts are in cultural differences and the need for children from the ethnic groups to work harder in order to achieve their potential, plus the opportunties which are offorded to them. If you look at sport, and football in particular, asian children are not taken seriously by the coaches, for what ever reason.

In the end, there is always an equilibrium that exists, and there are no real winners or losers.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:27 pm 
For many years ethnic minority children (particularly black children) excel at primary level. It's when they reach 11+ that for some reason things start to turn. It's a worrying trend and if things are improving, as the report suggests, that is a good thing.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:38 pm 
My daughter applied for a competitive grammar school in London, Henrietta Barnett. They have two rounds of exams. At the first round the majority seemed to be white middle class (judging by their accents). At the second round it was striking how the majority of kids seemed to come from cultural backgrounds where education is regarded as highly important and had probably received a lot of parental input and support. This seems to be the secret to academic success, it doesn't happen by accident.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:39 am 
I think you are right. I was driving by Tiffins boys school the other day and I can honestly say I only saw 3 non asian boys outside. From my experience we have many Sri Lankan children at our school and they are always top. Which is amazing when often their parents English is very poor. They generally value education above everything and don't swamp their children with lots of other after school activities or TV. I say good luck to them it shows what can be done when you try.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:26 am 
My wife teaches in a school in B'ham. Amongst het teaching circle of friends, they estimate that at least 60 places or more have been gained at KE Camphill by children from the asian background. The numbers are quite high for KE High school in Edgbaston.

It shows that hard work and parent support does work.

Good luck to all.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:56 am 
It is true. It is the work ethic. How many times have you seen a pasty faced tuneless youth on some talent show blankly stating.."but its my dream" as though that were enough. Our children live in a world where they seem to think it is enough to 'want' and it should be theirs. We discourage competition in sports incase one of them feels humiliated by not winning. Our 'Youf' cannot be challenged. With ethnic minorities they know only too well the reality of the outside world and how no allowance is made for you once you are passed your tender years. Having said that.. I remember standing behind one asian father at parents day who was banging the table saying it was unacceptable for his son to be getting 99% and that they would be having strong words. We each have something to learn from the other but from my experience Industry fares better than talent. Both and you're laughing... ok..maybe with an ulcer...

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:36 am 
40%+ of children in Birmingham come from an ethnic minority background, and this seems to be fairly represented in my daughter's class at Grammar school.

At concerts white girls seem to be over-represented; but obviously this is an optional activity and subject to choice.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:27 am 
Not only music but Unviveristy places as well. Also, look at sport, not many asian kids playing rugby for KE Camphill. But the old stereo typical asian boy in the school cricket team.!!

As an example of asian success stories, my son is the only boy who has gained a place at a grammar school out of 6 children in his school who enetred the 11+ tests. The ones who didn't make it were all non-asians. It's not that my boy is any brighter than the others, but he applies himself to his studies and has the maturity and drive to do well. He has grasped the opportunties afforded to him in the 11+ and succeeded.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:57 am 
I couldn't agree more.

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