ED10 - Ethnicity and Educational Achievement

In this Section, we shall be examining the relationship between ethnicity and educational achievement. Firstly, we shall consider trends in educational achievement among different ethnic groups. It has been noted that although the academic performance of certain ethnic minorities may be lower, the progress they make during their key stage three and four education is much higher than that of white students. The current graph that we are analysing presents data on the national average of attainment aid score, which is 46.5. Upon analysing this data, we observe that Pakistani and Black African students' performance is like the national average, while white students' performance is also close to the national average. However, Indian, and Chinese students tend to perform significantly better than the national average and particularly the white majority.

On the other hand, there are two groups that tend to perform less well and underachieve at GCSE. These are Black Caribbean students and Irish Traveller or Romani students, and there is a considerable difference in their performance compared to the national average. The Irish Traveller community students' average score is 18.2, while the Black Caribbean students' average score is 39.6. It is therefore important to note that we cannot combine students into Black or Asian categories as there are significant differences within those communities. For example, Indian students tend to outperform Pakistani and Bangladeshi students, averaging 56.3 in GCSE. Similarly, among Black students, Black African students significantly outperform Black Caribbean students, scoring an average of 47.5 and 39.6, respectively.

It is crucial to consider these ethnic groups as separate entities and not just clump them all together. Even within the white community or white students, we observe that Irish students significantly outperform all other white ethnic students, scoring an average of 52.2. Conversely, Irish Traveller and Romani students underperform significantly. Therefore, it is necessary to acknowledge and analyse these groups as distinct entities rather than as one homogeneous group.

Furthermore, we shall also examine A-Level trends. The national average for achieving at least three A's at A-Level is 12.9%. From the current data, we observe that Chinese and Indian students significantly overachieve compared to the national average, with Chinese students achieving 22.5% and Indian students at 15.3%. However, the Irish Traveller community has a statistically significant percentage of students achieving three A's or above at 28.6%. Nevertheless, we must note that the number of Irish Traveller students who stay in school and take A-levels is incredibly low, and it is challenging to generalize this statistic to the entire Irish Traveller community. This is because there are very few students identifying as Irish Traveller compared to white, Chinese, or Indian students.

Therefore, this analysis illustrates significant differences in educational achievement among ethnic groups. However, we must bear in mind that we are specifically analysing attainment and not progress, which would require a distinct analysis.