Researchers investigating academic performance in an Inner London borough found that, for pupils from most ethnic minorities, the socio-economic backgrounds of each child’s parents had only limited impact on how much progress they made during the last four years of primary school.
However, for White British pupils, the picture was very different, with those from better-off homes pulling away dramatically from their peers from less advantaged backgrounds. This meant that, while White British pupils from well-off families were the top-performing ethnic group at age 11, those eligible for free school meals had among the worst results.
Professor Steve Strand, of the University of Warwick, will present the findings at the British Educational Research Association’s conference in Warwick today. They come from an investigation into pupil performance in the ethnically diverse South London borough of Lambeth, commissioned by the borough council itself.