White Free School Meal Pupils do considerably worse at GCSEs than any other ethnic group

In Thursday’s Parliamentary Written Questions, information was released about the GCSE results of pupils who attend mainstream state-funded schools, have no special educational needs and are eligible for free schools. In essence: “poor kids”.

The results were broken down by ethnicity and show the % of students in each ethnic group who did not get a C grade or above in either Maths or English GCSE or both.

The numbers show that White Free School Meal students are, by some way, the group least likely to pass either a Maths or English GCSE. The number of White FSM students not passing English was 54.7% and in Maths it was 59.9%. The nearest classified ethnic group were ‘Mixed race’ FSM students of whom 42% did not pass English and 50.5% did not pass Maths. All other ethnic groups were lower again.

By this measure it appears White FSM students are nearly 10% more likely not to pass their English or Maths GCSE than a FSM student in any other ethnic group.

I’m offering no explanation for this. It’s nothing something I’ve looked at in enough detail to guess as to why. But I find it intriguing, and interesting, and something I thought I would shared – particularly as here in the US, where I am studying, I am sometimes looked at as if I am crazy when I try to explain that race is an important but ultimately very different issue here in the UK.


PS – I have no idea how the phrases ‘While’ and ‘Slack’ got into a Hansard publication. No doubt it’s the fault of schools who no longer teach spelling.

PPS – I am guessing the data is for 2010/11 because the 2012 data was not yet available. 

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