The BBC is reporting that white working-class communities can lack the “aspiration and drive” of many migrant groups, England’s chief schools inspector has told a conference.
Amanda Spielman said a long-overdue debate was under way about why white working-class pupils fall behind.
Her comments follow criticism that Ofsted is unfair on poor white schools.
Separately, the secondary heads union ASCL has hit out at school performance tables for unfairly stigmatising schools in white working-class areas.
In a speech to the Festival of Education at Wellington College in Berkshire, Ms Spielman said: “We are having to grapple with the unhappy fact that many local working class communities have felt the full brunt of economic dislocation in recent years, and, perhaps as a result, can lack the aspiration and drive seen in many migrant communities.”
But she said it was Ofsted’s job to “report without fear or favour” on school performance and that schools had to be graded on overall standards rather than effort.
“That is explicitly not the same as saying that teachers in these areas are putting in any less effort or that the leadership is worse.
“There is no doubt that these schools have a harder job to do than others.”
She told the festival the debate was not limited to England and the rest of the UK and its coastal towns. “It has also echoed throughout continental Europe and across the Atlantic.”
Read the full article Ofsted chief says poor white communities lack ‘aspiration and drive’
How do you feel about her comments? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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