The UK has been failing white working-class pupils for years

Article here. Jump the paywall by Googling the first paragraph. Excerpt:

'The latest report, from parliament’s education select committee, confirms that almost 1m white working-class children, especially boys, are seriously struggling. They now fare worse in education than every other minority group except Gypsy/Roma and Irish Travellers. If you look at children on free school meals, a measure of deprivation, only 18 per cent of white pupils gain a grade 5 in GCSE Maths and English, compared with 23 per cent of all pupils on free school meals. Only 16 per cent go to university compared to 32 per cent of black Caribbean pupils, 59 per cent of black African pupils and 73 per cent of Chinese pupils. This suggests that poverty is not the whole story, because impoverished whites are now outperformed by equally deprived minority groups.

To engage with school, you have to believe you have a future; and you need to feel that your education is relevant. The reality, for many children and families I have interviewed over the years, is that they don’t. I’ve met bright teenagers who don’t aspire to university because they don’t want to leave home and who think the only university they’d get into would offer a nonsense course with poor job prospects. I’ve met bright boys who’d prefer to try plumbing to earn a decent living. To them, much of the school curriculum doesn’t feel relevant. They are offered geography but not financial literacy. Their schools don’t even advertise the university technical colleges (UTCs) that offer a more practical curriculum from the age of 14 because they are looked down upon.'

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