Achievement within education is very varied across cultures, with some such as Chinese and Indian students performing above the average, and African-Caribbean and Pakistani students performing well below average.
There are many factors which can reduce a child from an ethnic backgrounds attainment:
Social class and material factors - Minority ethnic children are more likely to live in low-income households. This means they face the problems that Douglas highlighted, the material factors, such as poor quality housing, no working space etc.
Language - For many children of an ethnic minority English is not their mother-tongue. This can be a disadvantage because they may not understand exams as well as others. Also they might struggle to express themselves with limited English. Finally, some teachers may mistake poor English for a lack of intelligence, when actually this could be completely untrue, meaning that a clever child may be let down by the teacher who might not push the student to their full potential.
Family Life – African-Caribbean communities have a high level of lone parenthood. This can mean that many face financial problems, this can lead to lower achievement in school (Douglas’ material factors). Conversely, single mothers can be a positive role model or influence for many young girls, meaning they perform better in education.
Racism – There are two key…