Ethnic mix boosts London schools results
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Monday 23 June 2014
The diverse ethnic mix in inner-London schools could be a key reason behind the dramatic improvement in the capital’s exam results, according to a study out today.
Improvements in primary schools following Labour’s introduction of a daily reading hour and maths lesson are also pinpointed as a major factor behind the success. But much-vaunted government policies such as the academies programme, the introduction of the Teach First scheme – wooing the brightest graduates into disadvantaged schools – and the “London Challenge” are unlikely to have been a contributory factor.
The findings emerge from a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which says 80 per cent of pupils in inner-London schools were from non-white backgrounds in 2012, compared with 14 per cent in the country at large.
The figures show 54 per cent of pupils eligible for free school meals in inner London obtain five or more A*- to C-grade passes at GCSE, including maths and English, compared with 47 per cent in outer London, 40 per cent in the West Midlands and 30-35 per cent elsewhere.
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