Our Safeguarding Manager, Daniel Jarrett, has written for SSAT (The Schools, Students and Teachers Network) this week on how to support and engage white working class children. He begins:
“A 2016 report from Sutton Trust, Class Differences, found that white working class pupils achieve the lowest grades at GCSE of any main ethnic group, with just a quarter of boys and a third of girls achieving five good GCSEs.
One argument as to why this has happened is the legacy of deindustrialisation in the UK and the collapse of secure employment, leading to feelings of hopelessness. In a New Statesman article, Phil Karnavas, executive principal of a school in Kent with a large proportion of underprivileged white pupils, noted, ‘The culture of white, Anglo-Saxon, working-class boys is one which has historically led them from the terraces to the factory, the fields or the farm. That doesn’t exist any more.’ Seeing a lack of jobs around industry can have the effect of making it difficult for the children to be motivated in doing well at school. In their eyes, and in many of their parents’ eyes, with university too expensive to access, the only route left is unemployment and a reliance on benefits.
Low aspirations can be a vicious cycle. While the idea of hundreds of thousands of families living in unemployment for generations is a myth (a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study found under 1% of workless households might have two generations who have never worked – about 15,000 households in the UK), the idea that there is no need to worry because the benefits system will cushion your fall still persists in some households.
But while this may have been the case for some parents, it is not the case for their children.”
You can read the full article here: https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/blog/white-working-class/