Source: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Recent criticisms of the education system have noted the poor performances of white boys who receive free school meals—a standard benchmark of poverty—and have tended to point the finger at teachers. Such comments may be valid as far as they go, but they fail to consider the staggering variety in results for other ethnic groups.
The table to the left shows the latest performance figures for male pupils on free school meals at GCSE level, including English and mathematics. The differences in performance between different ethnic groups are huge, with more than three times as many boys from Chinese families hitting this target than boys from white ones.
The data is striking evidence of just how influential children’s homes are on their classroom performance.
Research and analysis by Harvey Cole