22 June 2007

Positively Discriminating

Toward equality in our schoolsOn Saturday I questioned some of the anti-discrimination legislation now affecting schools. Today we learn that almost half of pupils leaving school with no or low qualifications are white, working-class, British boys and that, contrary to common perceptions, ethnic minority pupils are at less risk of low achievement. White British pupils not only form the majority of low educational achievers; they also do worse than children with similar income levels from other ethnic groups and are more likely than any other ethnic group to remain low achievers as they move up from primary to secondary school.

I can but echo my weekend conclusions: instead of responding to the complaints and grievances, be they real or perceived, of minority groups, anti-discrimination measures should focus on positive duties to introduce equality for all. Now what does that remind me of? ... Oh yes, a certain recent speech by David Willetts: "A Conservative agenda for education will not be about just helping a minority of pupils escape a bad education. We want better schools for all, based on fair admission and fair funding."

3 comments:

Rachel Joyce said...

I like your blog. Good stuff. I have linked it from mine.

dessy said...

There will be no pressure group for poor white males. They don't attract any grants, so no deacons, community spokespersons, or other worthies to speak up for them. They are definitely not ethnic enough to waste tax payers money on.

JTF said...

I see the report also states: "Anything which gives schools greater opportunities to select their pupils works to the detriment of the disadvantaged; the current ways in which school places are allocated is part of the process by which the disadvantaged end up disproportionately in worse-performing schools. Measures which assist fair selection will help them."

This supports Willetts' recent claim that grammar schools and other excellent secondary schools are "no longer the vehicles for progress for bright children from poor backgrounds that they probably used to be."