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Thursday, 19th June 2014

UK: Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children

Source: House of Commons Education Committee (UK)

From Summary:

White working class underachievement in education is real and persistent. White children who are eligible for free school meals are consistently the lowest performing group in the country, and the difference between their educational performance and that of their less- deprived white peers is larger than for any other ethnic group. The gap exists at age five and widens as children get older. This matters, not least because the nature of the labour market in England has changed and the consequences for young people of low educational achievement are now more dramatic than they may have been in the past.

The possible causes and contributors to white working class underachievement are many and various, and include matters in home life, school practices, and wider social policies. We received evidence on a broad range of policy areas and relevant factors, many of which fell outside education policy. Our report holds a mirror up to the situation—it does not attempt to solve the problem on its own—but it is clear that schools can and do make a dramatic difference to the educational outcomes of poor children.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 921 KB)



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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