Poor White Children Are Consistently The Lowest Performing Group In England

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23rd June 2014 15:36 - Education

A report - Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children – studied by the Education Select Committee (ESC), has shown that poor white children are consistently the lowest performing group in England.

Poor white children are seemingly already behind wealthier white and poor people from different ethnic minorities when they start primary school, with this academic gap growing as they get older.

Poor people from all ethnic backgrounds are said to benefit from attending an Ofsted-rated outstanding school, with poor white children said to profit the most.

According to the report, 50% of pupils who receive free school meals achieve a benchmark of five good GCSE’s when attending an outstanding school. However, this figure drops to 25% for pupils who attend schools rated as inadequate.

Poor Indian pupils attain more good GCSE’s than students from other ethnic backgrounds, according to the House of Commons ESC:

  • White British – 32%
  • Indian – 62%
  • Pakistani – 47%
  • Black African – 51%
  • Black Caribbean – 42%

The report makes suggestions to lessen underachievement, one of which being allowing time and space for children to do their homework at school.

The ESC also believes there should be incentives to help schools in poorer communities recruit high-quality teachers to help drifting pupils.

"Schools face a battle for resources and talent, and those serving poor white communities need a better chance of winning,” the report says.

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