External factors are factors outside of the education system, which contribute, to the ethnic differences in achievement such as the influence of home and family background, and wider society.
- Cultural Deprivation.
-Those from ethnic minority groups, have a lack of linguistic skills which is a major cause of under achievement. Bereiter and Engellman state that the language spoken by low income black American families, is inadequate for educational success. They see it as disjointed. However, Heidi Mirza points out that Indian children do very well despite often not having English as their home language.