Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Study says schools need more information to help ethnic minority students

Schools in Britain should record more information on the languages spoken by pupils from minority communities to better support students who struggle with education, a new study has found.

Researchers from London Metropolitan University said simply recording students' ethnicity was insufficient as Britain becomes ever more diverse.

The team analysed GCSE records from 2007 to 2011, looking at the proportion achieving five good grades (A* to C), including maths and English.

They found in particular that speakers of other languages lagged behind in Yorkshire, Humber and the North West.

The report states: "Overall, many of the widest attainment gaps are present in local authorities with substantial Pakistani ethnic minority groups - for example Peterborough, Oldham, Bedford, Bury, Derby, Sheffield and Calderdale, who tend to speak Urdu, Punjabi or Mirpuri and experience economic disadvantage.

The aim of the study was to identify those ethnic minorities who struggle in education in England and where they are located.

Previous studies have suggested that pupils whose native tongue is not English did better than the national average at GCSE's.

But the researchers found that while this was true in inner London it was not the case in other regions.
They also found that in some regions the data being collected about pupils' first languages and ethnicity was imprecise.

Report author Ayo Mansaray told the BBC: "Britain is becoming more ethnically and linguistically diverse every day, beyond London and urban areas typically associated with multi-ethnic populations.
"But the statistics being collected and the research being done are not keeping up with this diversity."

- UKAsian Staff/Reports

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