Indian kids outperform their British peers in UK schools
Students for whom English is an additional language (EAL) made better progress in school as a result of stricter attitudes towards mealtimes, bedtimes, parental supervision of homework and discussion of subject choices, researchers from Britain’s CentreForum think-tank said.
“We know that we’ve got this very bad performance of white pupils versus others. We know that it’s not embedded from the beginning of education but actually they appear to be doing relatively well at the beginning of their journey.
Something is clearly happening about their ability to take advantage of their opportunities that many of the ethnic minorities do manage to exploit,” said David Laws, executive chairman of CentreForum.
“We’ve got some clues in the data that’s being published today and in the analysis that’s already been done but this is one of the areas that we want to pursue ourselves in more detail It will wake the country up to the fact that we are a long way further to the world class standard that we thought we were,” he said.
The think tank’s analysis found that although attainment was improving, over 60 per cent of secondary and over 40 per cent of primary pupils were still failing to achieve a world-class standard.
The research suggests white British children are among the top three highest achieving groups at the age of five but by the age of 16, the group’s performance slips to 13th in a table behind children of Chinese, Indian, Asian and black African heritage.
“Chinese and Indian pupils continue to outperform other groups on all measures by the end of secondary school...
Considering attainment of ethnic groups across the Early Years, and primary and secondary schooling further patterns emerge. There are some ethnic groups which perform consistently throughout school. These are Indian, Irish, white/Asian mixed and black African pupils,” the report said.
Natalie Perera, executive director and head of research at CentreForum said the think tank will further explore this issue over the year.
She said: “While the gap between the most disadvantaged pupils and the rest is generally closing, we still find that, by the end of secondary school, disadvantaged pupils are, on average, almost two academic years behind their peers.
“Over the coming year, CentreForum will be expanding its research into the deep-rooted and complex challenges that our education system must address if it is going to perform at a world-class benchmark.”
A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “We welcome this report which shows the stark choice we face in education today either we prepare today’s young people to compete with the best in the world, or we don’t.”