Children from some ethnic minority groups twice as likely to be tutored

The Mail is reporting that new research suggesting almost half of 11-year-olds from Chinese, black or Indian backgrounds are receiving private tutoring – more than twice the proportion of their white peers.

…The three minority ethnic groups also seem to be doing more homework, on average, than white children.

The findings come from a major research project which is being presented at the British Educational Research Association’s (BERA’s) annual conference at Queen’s University, Belfast, today.

They suggest high proportions of pupils’ results in education league tables – designed to measure school performance – may be influenced by costly private tuition, particularly for some ethnic groups.

Researchers from Newcastle University and from NatCen Social Research, the social research institute, have studied how a cohort of 19,000 pupils, all born in 2000-1, spend their lives outside of school…

At seven, private tuition was most common among children of Indian backgrounds, already being taken up by one in five such pupils, or 20 per cent. It was least prevalent among white pupils, at three per cent.

By 11, the ethnic group with the highest take-up of private tuition was ‘other ethnic origin’, which includes Chinese pupils, at 48 per cent.

Some 47 per cent of black children received private tuition, while the figure for Indian pupils was 42 per cent.

For white children, it was 20 per cent.

The time spent on homework also varied significantly by ethnicity.

A quarter of Chinese and ‘other ethnic origin’ 11-year-olds spent at least five hours a week on homework, while the figures for Indian and black children were 24 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

For white children, the figure was only seven per cent…

Professor Liz Todd, Professor of Education Inclusion at Newcastle University, who will outline the research study today, said the findings raised questions about possible differing attitudes to school provision between different ethnic groups…

‘…We also need to look at the gains in pupil attainments across groups and ask to what extent these are due to changes in teaching, school reforms or the provision of tuition at home…’

More at: Ethnic pupils’ tuition boost: Almost half of 11-year-olds from minority backgrounds receive private lessons


Are you surprised by these findings?

Do they suggest quite significant differences in how education is valued amongst different ethnic groups?

And – as the researcher hints at – should provision of tutoring perhaps be taken into account when the performance of schools is assessed?

This is another potential issue of the ‘hidden’ nature of tutoring that I keep banging on about where a significant number of children have a clear advantage over their peers, but this is unaccountable because it is not something that needs to  be declared (unlike other contextual data).

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This is a consequence of the lack of trust engendered by MPs and media consistently slating schools and teachers

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