Inequalities in Education1 introduction1.1 This report will set out our findings on inequalities in education. It describes six aspects of inequality and how these affect school results.Everybody agrees the importance of education. It is good for society, which needs the contributions economic productivity, not to mention the tax of a skilled workforce, and it is good for individuals. People with more education earn more, and are more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be healthy, less likely to be criminals, more likely to volunteer their time and vote in elections (the spirit level pg 103)1.2 This report will cover race, gender, sexuality, class, disabilities and age. And how all of these factors can affect education.
2 evidence of inequality in relation to education.2.1 Race Pupils in several ethnic groups were achieving and progressing better than White British pupils. Pupils from Chinese and Indian backgrounds showed high attainment and progress throughout their school careers and high rates of entry to university.
Pupils from Gypsy and Roma, or Irish Traveller background (which are not included in the White British category), had the lowest attainment and progress, and were least likely to stay in education after the age of 16. Although pupils in the Black ethnic group made more progress overall than the national average, Black Caribbean pupils fell behind. White British pupils and those from a Mixed background also made less progress than average. 2.11 Low educational attainment and progress is closely associated with economic disadvantage. There is a sizeable gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and those from better off households among White British, White Irish and Mixed pupils.
In particular, White British and White Irish pupils who were www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk 10 not eligible for free school meals were around twice as likely to attain A*- C in maths and English GCSEs as those who were eligible. In contrast, attainment for Black Caribbean pupils is very low overall, with a smaller gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and those not.
Pupils from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds are achieving almost as well as, and progressing better than, White British pupils, whereas the attainment and progress of Black Caribbean pupils is much lower. White pupils from state schools had the lowest university entry rate of any ethnic group in 2016. 2.12 Of all regions in England, the most educational progress and best attainment in state primary and secondary schools was found in London, where more than half of pupils were from ethnic minority groups.
Disadvantaged pupils in receipt of free school meals in London made more progress and had higher attainment than their counterparts elsewhere in England. Race Disparity Audit Summary Findings from the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.
ukGender2.2 GCSE Attainment There has been a long-standing gender gap at GCSE for those attaining 5+ A*-C: ? Since 1988, on the threshold measure of 5+ A-C GCSEs, a significant gender gap in favour of girls has emerged. This gap quickly increased and subsequently became stable at around a 10 percentage points difference, with little variation since 1995. The gender gap is currently 9.6 percentage points: 63.4 percent of girls and 53.8 percent of boys achieved 5+ A*-C GCSEs or equivalent in 2006. Girls tend to do better in the majority of GCSE subjects: ? The largest gender differences (a female advantage of more than ten percentage points on those gaining an A*-C GCSE) are for the Humanities, the Arts and Languages.
Smaller gender differences (a female advantage of five percentage points or less) tend to be in Science and Maths subjects. ? Some of these achievement patterns have been relatively stable over six decades of exam results, particularly in English Language and Literature, French, Art and Design and Religious Studies. ? There have been changing patterns over the years.
In Maths, there has been a shift from a male advantage averaging 4 percentage points prior to 1991 to a slim female advantage of 1-2 percentage points in recent years. In Geography, there has been a widening of the gap in girls’ favour, and in History, there has been fluctuation but with girls now doing much better than boys. ? Attainment at each end of the distribution of grades also varies by gender. Girls are more likely than boys to gain an A* grade at GCSE.