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On 28 December 2016, the social mobility commission released a report exploring the transition from school to the workplace amongst several types of pupil group. In particular, the commission was interested in why White British males are less likely to be unemployed, and have more social mobility options, than females and those who are Black or from an Asian Muslim background.
In early years, the socio-economic gap was largest amongst White British or White Other students than any other ethnic group. The report went on to outline that “disadvantaged White British and White Other pupils are the lowest performing groups at primary and secondary school”. Across all key stages, White pupils perform worse in English and Maths (with the exception of Early Years Foundation stage) than any other ethnic group. Finally, in terms of higher education, White British from poor backgrounds were much less likely to attend University than any other ethnic group. The authors did acknowledge that there was much disparity within the White British and White Other socioeconomic group. However, they argued that White pupils were more likely to be in employment than students from other ethnic groups based, in part, on the following three reasons:
This is a particularly interesting report for governors and trustees who want to understand the specific challenges facing different pupil groups in their school(s). All governors and trustees should know their school(s) well and be aware of context and demographics. A useful starting point for understanding demographic makeup is RAISEonline or the FFTAspire governor dashboard. To access these resources, speak with the headteacher or a member of your senior leadership team. Also, see the NGA guidance centre for further information on many of the themes covered above.
Published: 06/01/2017, by Tom Fellows
Last Updated: 06/01/2017, by Tom Fellows