Poor, white working class children ‘bottom of the class’

ITV is reporting that children who are poor, white and working class are bottom of the class and will remain there unless there is a major overhaul of education, according to a major report by a think tank.

The study by think tank ResPublica, was commissioned by Knowsley Council in Merseyside, and it states that of all children from disadvantaged backgrounds, white British children were least likely to do well in school.

The report authors say that while the study focuses on the area, change is needed nationally, from how pupils are encouraged to achieve, to how schools are funded and run at local and national levels.

Director of ResPublica Phillip Blond said: “For too long white working class children have been left behind by an education system which is not working properly.

“With a new education secretary we have the chance to implement change, not only in Knowsley where we know that improvements need to be made but across the whole of the country.

“Re-introducing grammar schools is potentially a transformative idea for working class areas where there are little or no middle classes to game the admission system.

“We know that selection improves the performance of those white working class children selected – the trouble is too few of them are. We recommend that new grammars in the first instance are exclusively focused on the needs of white working class children.”

More at: Poor, white working class children ‘bottom of the class’

Do you agree that out of disadvantaged students, it is the white working class that are worse off? Do you think grammar schools would help with this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. Nairb1

    ‘We know that selection improves the performance of white working class children selected …’
    And the remaining 80% can go hang, because it’s been decided that they aren’t entitled to a stab at social mobility due to being failures at aged 11.
    And as for new grammars ‘exclusively focused’ on white working class children I look forward to the first court case involving parents of pupils who have passed the selection process but are then told they are too well off or too black.

  2. Nairb1 I exposed the flawed thinking behind the argument that grammars give a leg up to poor pupils here: http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/09/mays-message-to-the-75-know-your-place-social-mobilitys-only-for-the-top-25

  3. The problem with Knowsley, the report says, is that it is ‘a white, working class “mono culture” where youngsters have little contact with others from different social backgrounds.’
    Funny, but other ‘mono cultures’, aka top private schools where pupils also have ‘little contact with others from different social backgrounds’, have been promoted as the answer to raising performance in the state sector.  The message, as might be relayed in Animal Farm:
    ‘Upper and upper middle-class mono-culture, goooooood;  Working class mono-culture baaaaaad.’

  4. There is no ‘problem with Knowsley’ at primary level.  Results at its secondary schools are poor but this won’t be solved by importing grammars.  As Ofsted’s Regional Director said in February 2016: ‘…many parents of higher-attaining pupils in the last year of primary schools
    in Knowsley are choosing to send their children to secondary schools outside the
    area because of the poor performance of secondary schools in the area.’
    Knowsley already loses higher-attaining pupils to other areas.  Diverting these to a selective school inside Knowsley may raise Knowsley’s performance on paper but will do nothing for the remaining non-selective schools.

  5. VictoriaJaquiss

    What a load of rubbish! It is the world that is a highly unequal place. Schools neither cause the inequalities nor can they solve them. In fact the worst thing you can do is separate a few of them off from the families and local friends and make them learn some academic stuff. All they will be able to say then is that they are haven’t failed in this minute irrelevant little sector that is academic education. The friends of grammar schools can congratulate themselves on whatever they think they have succeeded at. Meantime the rest of us can turn our mind to 1. The toxic disgusting idea that is academisation, 2. PFI, which is sucking all the money from children’s education and handing it to share -holders, who by definition already have enough money, 3. Loss of arts subjects in schools, and 4 irrelevant and distressing testing and tables.

  6. VictoriaJaquiss I’ve written in more detail about the ResPublica report here: http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/11/think-tank-wrong-to-think-re-introducing-grammar-schools-is-potentially-a-transformative-idea

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