A good mix: why ethnic minority pupils improve school achievement

“I wasn’t shocked to see the research putting the accomplishment of London schools at GCSE down to the ethnic diversity of pupils.

“It comes down to the parents’ influence. Students who’ve arrived as migrants recently are usually coming from a area where education is valued for education’s sake. In which I educate now, in a rural location, we’ve got a very homogenous set of students, all from equivalent backgrounds – generation right after generation very happily in a steady state the place they’re not forced to improve. If you compare that with a parent and young children coming over from a country exactly where there is not as significantly opportunity, they do actually have to try out, and that is a parent-led excellent that will get fed into the student. I met so several college students from African and Asian countries that genuinely desired to understand.

“You’d be surprised at how the youngsters learn the language, receiving to a fluent level in significantly less than 6 months. I’ve taught pupils that couldn’t talk a word of English, starting as late as year eleven. I had 1 woman from eastern Europe who within a couple of months could speak to me like any individual else would. Her mindset was: ‘I really do not want to be left out on the sidelines.’ She was a leading-set student the last time I noticed her.

“But that sort of ambition can have a constructive effect on other pupils too. If there is a person who’s a really enthusiastic learner, it is a teacher’s task to seize on that possibility and use it to create an atmosphere in the classroom, and it does rub off. It assists that in London, 9 out of 10 occasions there will be another student in the same classroom with the exact same language as a new migrant. You can buddy them up and say: ‘This man is struggling, you assist him out.’ In a rural setting that pupil would be on their own.”

David Walker spoke to Rachel Williams. To defend identities, it is not his true name

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