This is news?

Rapid progress was being made by children from Chinese, Bengali and Indian backgrounds, while white working-class boys, in particular, were struggling, according to Sir Mike Tomlinson, the former head of Ofsted.

In controversial comments which will raise questions about the focus of Government funding, Sir Mike said that white working-class parents failed to place the same value on education as their ethnic minority counterparts.

As a result, poor white children have low expectations of what they can achieve, leading to lack of effort and low results.

"We are seeing every ethnic group progress rapidly – Chinese, Bengali, Indian," said Sir Mike. "The results that are being achieved are higher and this has improved the numbers applying to university and entering professions such as medicine, veterinary science, law and accountancy.

"A very high value is placed on education among many ethnic groups, compared with white working-class families. There seems to be different value systems at work."

Wasn\’t it Orwell who wrote of the British working classes suspicion of education?

11 comments on “This is news?

  1. “A very high value is placed on education among many ethnic groups”

    Don’t worry another generation growing-up under the welfare state should break them of those habits.

  2. Surely a good deal of the offspring of achievement-driven migrants would have inherited some of their parents’ ethics of effort and sacrifice spirit alongside their complexion, wouldn’t they?

  3. “”We are seeing every ethnic group progress rapidly – Chinese, Bengali, Indian,”: what an odd illustration of “every”.

  4. Don’t know about Orwell – but given that he wrote after a century of classical liberalism, it would hardly be surprising if they were.

  5. Until relatively recently, the British working classes valued education highly. The poverty of their aspirations has increased with the decline of the traditional family unit among the lower orders.

  6. Maybe it’s a misperception but it’s always struck me that populations which have a history of migration/flight tend to value education quite highly. They also seem to enter professions and trades that require less investment in immovable assets.

    One reason, I suspect, is that having lost some or all of their links to their homeland they tend invest in things that can be easily moved. A classic example might be the Jews of Eastern Europe, but the Indians and Chinese do seem to follow the same trend.

    As I say, I could be wrong, but it might be an interesting thing to study. It would also be interesting to see, if my suspicion holds true, whether more recent migrants and refugees to countries that offer generous welfare benefits, follow the same pattern.

  7. The working class did, and still do, place a high value on education and advancement. It is the rapidly expanding welfare class who see no need for it. They think we will continue to provide for them forever.

  8. Remittance Man,

    I would have thought it was simply that those who make the effort to move countries to better themselves are more likely to value other things that better themselves.

  9. Mr P,

    I’m sure that is part of it, but I just wonder whether being uprooted from one’s home, especially when such uprootment was involuntary, changed a population’s perceptions of what was a good investment.

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