White teens underperforming compared to their peers


The latest Secondary School League Tables show that white children are making less progress compared to their peers from all other ethnic groups by the time they are 16 years old.

The figures also show that 346 secondary schools are considered under-performing, meaning they fall below the ‘floor standard’, with another 257 deemed to be ‘coasting’.

In previous years, schools have been ranked according to the proportion of pupils achieving at least five grade A* to Cs at GCSE, including English and maths. This measure was scrapped two years ago in favour of a new system that measures progress as well as attainment.

A school’s Progress 8 score measures progress of each pupil from the end of primary school up to GCSEs. It compares pupils’ results with the achievements of other pupils that have the same prior attainment and measures performance across eight qualifications at age 16.

The average progress score is zero, so a positive score means pupils are making above-average progress and a negative score means they are below the average.

This year, the average Progress 8 score for white children in state schools was the lowest, at -0.10, compared to -0.02 for mixed race, 0.45 for Asian, 0.12 for black and 1.03 for Chinese pupils.

For attainment, white children have the second lowest score, with an average of 46.1. Chinese pupils had the highest score of 64.2, followed by Asian children, while black children had the lowest. Both this year and last, children with English as a second language had a higher score for attainment and made better progress on average than native speakers.

The data, which covers every secondary school in England, shows that Yorkshire and the Humber has the lowest proportion of under-performing schools while the North West had the highest. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of all the under-performing schools in England are in the North-West, figures show.

The figures also show that the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils has increased by 0.6 per cent since last year, but has narrowed by 9.5 per cent overall since 2011.

 February 2019