White working-class boys are already at the bottom of the class aged just five

White working-class boys are already at the bottom of the educational heap at the age of five, new figures have revealed. Just 36 per cent of white boys on free school meals are judged to have reached a ‘good’ level of development after a year of schooling – lower than any other group. This is from the Daily Mail…

They [white boys on free school meals] begin their compulsory education significantly behind in key areas of early development measured by the Government including readiness to read, write and behave in class.

The figures follow warnings from the chief inspector of schools that an ‘anti-school culture’ is prevalent in some of Britain’s poorest communities.

There is evidence that the gap between white working-class boys and others has widened on last year.

Under a ‘nappy curriculum’ introduced by Labour four years ago, teachers observe children in their care and judge how well they are doing against 13 scales.

Youngsters attending primary school reception classes, nurseries and childminders are assessed against the scales at the age of five.

They are judged to have reached a ‘good level’ of development if they can show they are attentive in class, know the importance of school rules, take turns in conversation, guess at the meaning of simple sentences, write a letter to Father Christmas, blend sounds together to say simple words and respect others.But the figures, from the Department for Education, shows how a huge gender gap has already opened up.

Just 55 per cent of boys reached the standard compared with 73 per cent of girls, giving a national average of 64 per cent.

There were further variations by ethnicity and family income.

Just 36 per cent of white boys eligible for free school meals because of low household income achieved the target level.

Among Indian boys from similar backgrounds, the figure rose to 50 per cent.

For Pakistani boys it was 37 per cent, for Bangladeshi 42 per cent, for black Caribbean 44 per cent and black African 48 per cent.

Some 39 per cent of Chinese boys on free meals achieved the standard.

While white working-class boys improved their performance on last year, others improved more quickly.

The trends emerged just weeks after Ofsted announced an initiative aimed at closing the gap in achievement between rich and poor.

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