Education: ‘White working-class boys’ falling behind at school

Education: Secondary / Tue 30th Apr 2024 at 08:48am

WHITE working-class boys’ in Essex are falling behind at school while children from ethnic minority groups are excelling, according to council findings reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

At Key Stage Four students from Asian and Black ethnicities in Essex were vastly outperforming the average for pupils from white backgrounds not just in the county but across England overall, a council meeting has heard.

Essex County Council’s cabinet member Tony Ball said at a scrutiny meeting on Thursday that on average poor educational outcomes among “white working-class boys” have not been properly addressed.

The average attainment outcomes for Essex (not including Southend and Thurrock) at Key Stage 4 are below the English average – 63.7 per cent of children in 2023 got a grade 4 or higher in English and maths.

The national average stood at 65.4 per cent. Just four districts – Brentwood, Uttlesford, Chelmsford and Colchester – register outcomes above the average. Of the remaining areas Tendring and Harlow are placed at 290 and 292 respectively out of a total of 297 districts.

Essex County Council, noting the gap in standards, convened a meeting of the multi-academy trust chief executives to find a solution to the problem facing Essex.

But the council’s People and Families Policy and Scrutiny Committee meeting on April 11 heard how it should learn lessons from the differences in outcomes between ethnic groups.

An average of 89.7 per cent of Asian pupils in Essex got a grade four or higher at KS4 in English and maths. The national average for Asian children was 75.5 per cent.

An average of 72.2 per cent of Black pupils in Essex got a grade four or higher at KS4 in English and maths. The national average for Black children was 65.5 per cent.

In comparison, an average of 61.8 per cent of white pupils in Essex got a grade four or higher at KS4 in English and maths. The national average was 63.8 per cent.

Councillor Aiden McGurran, a member of the People and Families Policy and Scrutiny Committee, said: “There must be a way, and I know it sounds naive, of harnessing the enthusiasm of education that some of our ethnic groups and our immigrant populations have that don’t seem to translate into the white working-class population.”

The cabinet member for education, Councillor Tony Ball, said: “Six years ago all of a sudden white working-class boys are now falling behind and we haven’t really addressed that issue, I would say, as much as we did and the results are there for the ethnic minorities. Asian children have done well on the whole. But we seem to have forgotten a little bit about white working-class boys.”

Clare Kershaw, director of education at Essex County Council, said: “Where we are focusing our attention, particularly around our disadvantaged young people and within that our white British cohort of young people, has been the push around reading. We need to get secondary schools really absolutely all over children’s reading ability very early on and in respect of people’s transitioning in Year 7.

“Through the Essex task force and the Essex Year of Reading, we have supported an intensive program called Thinking Reading in about a third of our secondary schools now. And I think that is going up to about half. The feedback that we get from those schools engaged is it is massively transforming the lives of young people for whom reading is a barrier.

“Children need good fluency and comprehension skills to access the secondary curriculum. And if they start secondary education behind in the skill-based around reading they will struggle to access the secondary curriculum. Which is why we are focusing on reading, predominantly, to open up more young people that can then enjoy education.”

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11 Comments for Education: ‘White working-class boys’ falling behind at school:

James K
2024-04-30 12:53:29

Because white people are not treated equally in 2024. The world has become anti-white

2024-04-30 13:26:58

Its a parents job to help kids and influence them .If others can why rest can't?

2024-04-30 19:22:20

No a surprise to be honest everyone gets funding, focus and special treatment but white working class boys. Yet soon they will be expected to die on battlefields for the very politicians which hate them and limit their life chances.

2024-04-30 20:34:16

Nice to to see the out and out racism on Your Harlow tonight.

2024-04-30 22:32:04

The British state is failing white British people in almost everything.

Dean Wilson
2024-04-30 23:06:18

For hundreds of years, white British people have ignored the claims, cries and requests for assistance and equality of everyone that was non-white. Now, white people get a taste of what it is to be literally on the opposite side of the fence and they're all up in arms about it? Pathetic. Welcome to how minorities have felt for literally all of time. Taste the medicine.

2024-05-01 11:23:10

This is not a new phenomenon. We invite and recruit diverse peoples from around the world to make up gaps in our own education system, they and those that arrive under their own steam are often the most ambitious and talented, they come determined to build a new life and that gets passed down from generation to generation. Because these people have plugged the gaps the uk continues with a broken factory batch model T production model and so the problem persists. It's made worse because our universities deliberately restrict places to uk students in favour of foreign students who pay considerably more. Things went off the rails over over 40 years ago. More recently, the creation of MATs that are intended to run 10 schools at a time 7200 students intent on delivering a national curriculum that's not fit for purpose with terminal examinations will simply make the problems of all students and especially those of white working class students still worse.

Dean Wilson
2024-05-01 12:04:25

Wait, has my comment been removed?

2024-05-01 16:10:20

Dear oh dear. Nostradamus is talking nonsense as usual. Has he not been following UK immigration policy? Legislation to deter overseas students is now very active. This despite the fact that umder funded universities desperately need their money to keep going. I have a relative who works in a multicultural school in East London and be rest assured everybody...EVERYBODY...is treated equally. Stop allthis racist nonsense please.

2024-05-01 21:33:00

The article says white working class boys are falling behind. What isn't clear is how their performance rates when compared with previous years of their peers ie white boys. Being below average if the average has been raised may not be so bad. And are black kids split out to show working class black kids?

2024-05-01 21:46:11

The establishment of GB requires a pool of working class labour. Who will do the menial jobs if everyone is too well educated. Immigrants aren't constrained by years of "I know my place" so have different aspirations.

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