Children with English as second language perform better

Immigrants and their children are bound to be better. Figures suggest children speaking English as a second language grow more in the three-Rs throughout their secondary education, compared to British pupils.

alt

The statistics demonstrate that just over a quarter of teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds left school last summer with five good GCSEs including the core subjects of English and Maths.

The statistics came as Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s chief inspector, warned that too many schools used deficiency and misfortune family backgrounds as a reason for underperformance, suggesting they could be placed on a Government hit-list for failing to raise standards.

It was revealed that deprived white British children – particularly boys – were significantly less likely to succeed than deprived pupils brought up by Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean or Black African parents.

It came out that Chinese pupils with parents in the same income band were around three times as likely to leave school with decent GCSE grades.

Just 28.8 per cent of poor pupils raised by white British parents got decent grades, falling to 26 per cent among boys alone.

It was the lowest proportion of any ethnic group other than those from gypsy and traveller communities.

By comparison, some 73.5 per cent of poor Chinese pupils made the grade, while 57 per cent of Indian and 56 per cent of Bangladeshi teenagers gained good results.

The figures also divulge that students who speak English as a second language – including many children of recent migrants – were now getting the most out of secondary education.

As per the data nationally, some 58.2 per cent of pupils gained five A to C grades, including English and mathematics.

However among poor children – those from families earning less than £16,000, making them entitled for free school meals – the proportion slumps to 34.6 per cent. The figures also show huge disparity by ethnic group.

Children who speak another language at home were also more likely to achieve five A to grades in any subject than their English-speaking classmates. Some 80.8 per cent gained five decent GCSEs of any type – compared with 80.4 per cent of other pupils.

It was the first time that children with English as a second language gained better headline results, although they still lag vaguely behind on other measures of achievement.

The Government insisted it was attempting to break the link between deprivation and poor results by providing schools with extra cash to teach children from poor homes and giving teachers more powers to crackdown on bad behaviour.