The TES reports that research into secondary schools in Oldham finds White-British and Asian-British pupils have more positive views about each other at ethnically mixed schools than those taught in segregated institutions.
The study also found that the merger of two ethnically segregated schools into a mixed one led to a fall in anxiety and an increase in the number of friendships between pupils from different ethnic backgrounds.
Over a seven-month period, the white-British pupils in mixed schools improved their attitudes, decreased their anxiety and reported “more outgroup trust” compared to their white counterparts in segregated schools.
The study also looked at interactions between pupils over a four year period following the merger of a predominantly white-British school with a mainly Asian school.
“[In June 2012] approximately 20 per cent of White-British and Asian-British pupils reported that they had no outgroup friends. By [February 2015], these figures had dropped significantly to approximately 5 per cent in each case,” the reports states.
The research found that pupils self-segregated in the cafeteria at lunchtime, but this also decreased between two time points several months apart in the study.
Researchers also looked at the impact of “family norms” on pupil attitudes, finding that even where students’ perceived that their parents had negative views about mixing with pupils from the outgroup, contact still promoted more positive attitudes.
Is this the case in your school? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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