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Discuss the impact race and ethnicity have on learning and achievement.

Discuss the impact race and ethnicity have on learning and achievement.

The word equality is a word that denotes equal rights, opportunities, and status; it is about guaranteeing that everybody has an equal chance to make the best out of their lives. Equality is also the idea that an individual’s life chances must not be dictated by their background, where they originate from, whether or not they have a disability or their personal beliefs. “The equality act was placed in 2010 which prohibits all employers and providers of education, from discriminating against, harassing or harassing individuals with protected characteristics”. (Equalityhumanrights 2018); this quote means that people who are hiring for jobs and teachers are not permissible to discriminate or harass their employees or students for the colour of their skin, how they look, race, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities.

Additionally, the 2010 Equality act “simplifies and strengthens the existing ruling to keep Britain with a new discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair behaviour and promotes a fair and evener society”; this ruling protects a lot of citizens in the UK from being discriminated and to have an equal and fair life from everyone else.

The nine key parts of legislation that have joined together are;

‘Equal Pay Act 1970’ which allowed men and women on the same job to receive the same pay, ‘Sex Discrimination Act 1975’ shelters men and women from judgement of sex or married status, ‘Race Relations Act 1976’ was set in place to protect people from being treated less favourably because of their race, nationality and colour, ‘Disability Discrimination Act 1995’, this act was set in place so that disabled people were not treated any less differently to a non-disabled person, ‘Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003’, which was set in place so that employees do not employ an individual because of their religion or belief, ‘Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003’, this was set in place so that employees do not employ an individual because of their sexual orientation, ‘Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006’, which was set in place so that employees do not employ an individual because of their age, ‘Equality Act 2006, Part 2 and the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007’.(equalityhumanrights, 2017)

Where there is an absence of equality, there is the opportunity for bullying.

Bullying is a prejudiced behaviour which a lot of the time derives from having an absence of understanding for diverse societies, attitudes and other differentiations amongst beings. This means it is very important to educate young citizens about diverse identities, human rights and equality as this would benefit them by teaching them to respect differences and to challenge prejudice and discrimination.

“The idea of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect, it means understanding that each individual is unique and also acknowledging our individual differences, which can be along the lengths of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation…”(Qcc 2018); this supports my argument that to have diversity one should be able to respect every difference in today’s society and if you don’t have respect or tolerance towards diversity then it is classed as being prejudice and narrow-minded because you don’t have an understanding for diverse beliefs and cultures.

The government is “working with partners in the equality and diversity sector and are supporting black and minority ethnic children by speeding up the process of adoption and working with partners that promote equality.”(Gov 2010); thus, this states the government is trying its best to implement equality and diversity in today’s society by working with organisations and networks and supporting them.

Secondly, the significance of “diversity” means a lot more than just tolerating or recognising a difference. The word diversity stems from a set of mindful practices which involves: appreciating and understanding the links of cultures, humanity and the environment, having an understanding that diversity doesn’t just include means of knowing but also being and having a recognition in the fact that “cultural institutionalised discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some, while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others and building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discriminations “(policy exchange 2018) this quote means that cultural discrimination can give some groups freedom and at the same time cause difficulties and no sense of freedom for a lot of other ethnic groups.

A definition of diversity is; “Diversity is about embracing and celebrating the richness of society”(Dept of Education 2011), this quote states that we should be praising the fact that we have such a diverse society filled with people from many different cultures and backgrounds to enjoy and learn more about as we grow older.

In the UK there are five steps of education which are “nursery and reception, primary school, secondary school, further education(FE) and higher education(HE… Education is compulsory for all children amongst the ages of 5 and 16. Whereas, FE is not compulsory…” (Assets.Gov)

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In every school there must be an agreement to a programme which endorses the cultural, moral, physical and mental development of its students, thus provide an inclusive education, while also preparing the students for adult opportunities, duties and general adult life (future) and the national curriculum offers pupils an introduction to the critical knowledge that they need to be educated, citizens.

Some people do not understand inclusive education as Gibson states, “There is confusion surrounding ‘inclusion’ the aims and drivers of inclusive education… emerged from a ‘successful’ disability rights movement with its depiction of the medical model as pejorative”(Gibson.S 2014), this means that some people are confused with where inclusion came from, and why it was enforced in schools and the truth is, that it was enforced in schools to put forward the fact that disabled children should also be able to go to the same schools as non-disabled children and should be treated equally.

The definition of inclusive education is diverse students being able to learn together in the classroom. It is the creation of an environment and relationship whereby students are able to enjoy fun outings and after-school clubs with each other. An inclusive education allows students to be able to express themselves uniquely and it also values diversity each pupil brings to the class, every child would feel safe and feel like they have an appreciation of belonging in society.

The school’s teachers know how to provide an inclusive education because they all have the essential help, training, and supplies to answer to all pupils.

It is said that pupils who are taught in an inclusive setting are equipped to construct a society that is accepting of differences and capable of being able to have respect for individuals from diverse settings. If there is support in inclusive education, it could be the first stage to creating a more diverse world.

A key definition of inclusion is “pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all…”(Hockings, prof. C 2010) this quote means that the strategy of pedagogy and curriculum and assessments are designed to facilitate an inclusive setting of education for each student, to accomplish their whole potential.

The possible benefits of inclusion for children with disabilities or special needs are, having a bigger chance to socialise with other children the same age as them, create friendship groups and have confidence in communicating with others. “The benefits that should accrue for other students…are enhanced appreciation of individual differences, being understanding, respectful and accepting of diversity and increased awareness of what students with disabilities can achieve and contribute to.”(Westwood. P 2018, pp.4)

In an analysis of more than 280 research studies managed in 25 countries”,

“Hehir et al. (2016) found consistent evidence that inclusive educational settings can confer substantial short and long-term benefits for disabled children’s cognitive and social development; and being educated alongside a student with a disability does not lead to negative consequences for non-disabled students” (Westwood, P 2018, pp.5).

This study on successful inclusive education shows that inclusion can have significant positive benefits for all pupils.

However, a basic problem which can occur by inclusions is highlighted by Crombie, when she observes that “no one can overestimate how difficult it is to manage a classroom, let alone an entire school of entirely different individuals, all of whom have their own studying needs” (Crombie, M. 2012 p.150). Crombie is saying that it is difficult to manage a classroom without inclusion so can you imagine how extremely difficult it must be to teach a school of different individuals.

Brackenreed argues that when you transfer from a “traditional model of schooling… to an all-inclusive, all abilities model presents enormous challenges to teachers”(Brackenreed, D 2011) Unquestionably, when the rush of euphoria created by the Salamanca statement, the reality and difficulty of classroom communities were ignored. Basic views were held on just how simply the philosophy of inclusion could convert into effective classroom practices.

The experiences continue to show us that it is much harder to implement successful inclusion than it is to write about it.

This essay will now discuss the impact that race and ethnicity have on learning and achievement. Firstly, the definition of ethnicity is when an “ethnic group or ethnicity is a population group whose members identify with each other on the basis of common nationality or shared cultural traditions; the term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics”(, 2018) from this it shows that there are correlations between ethnicity race and religion and educational attainment are partly explained by the differentials in how parents’ schooling and fathers occupation and location of where you live

Moreover, race and ethnicity are major factors which are shaping youngsters’ and adults involvements they have from education at all stages, these contain educational attainment, qualified work, public communications, curriculum development.

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Even though plenty of schools are seen as diverse, you can see dissimilarities between different ethnic groups. As data displays that some upbringings are actually doing less than other groups in education and careers. The achievement in education at key stage 1, has revealed that there is a minor difference between ethnic groups for students prospering the expected level 2 or even higher.

However, dissimilarities have shown amongst individuals succeeding the top grades of grade 2A or grade 3.

Data has shown that Pakistanis have the smallest quantity of children achieving better grades in English and science and black Caribbean’s have the smallest proportion of children gaining better grades in English and maths. Also, Indian pupils seem to outdo all other pupils in key stage 2 and remain overtaking in GCSE, with a larger amount of the Indian populace gaining five A*-C grades, a larger quantity of those achieving A*-C in modern-day language.

Factually, it has been known that other South Asian pupils have achieved poorer than their Indian equals. Nonetheless, Bangladeshi students are improving on a major level, “in 2006/07 only 40% achieved 5 A*-C grades plus maths and English but, by 2012/13, this upgraded to 62%”(Portrait Of Modern Britain pg. 63). For perspective, that development meant a higher amount of Bangladeshi students now succeed this educational level than white students. Just like Bangladeshi pupils”,

”the amount of Black African students obtaining 5 A*-C including Maths and English has upgraded from 40% in 2006.. to 58% in 2012.”(Portrait Of Modern Britain pg. 63).

Though Black Caribbean students haven’t made the same progress. “in 2006, only 34% Black Caribbean children gained 5A*-C including maths and English, trailing behind other ethnic groups”(Portrait Of Modern Britain pg. 63).

Success or failure is influenced by what occurs in the school. For instance, if the teachers have very little expectations (stereotypes) of a cultural minority it might influence the genuine growth of a student.

If a teacher brands some Black Caribbean pupils as “troublemakers and not smart”, the teacher has branded an ethnic minority and made an estimate concerning them and so because the teacher has little expectations, they would expect lower than normal homework, teachers wouldn’t support the students since they label them as ‘failures’. As the teachers have not assisted the Black Caribbean students they would’ve made the expectation correct. And this act from teachers is essentially known as the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. This affects the pupils’ educational attainment, for instance, they might be placed at the back of the class nowhere near the teachers to gain any help and receive less encouragement compared to other classmates. This also shows how teachers can be involuntarily prejudiced as they may have a very stereotypical opinion about certain cultural backgrounds these ideas can stem from the media, extreme groups and individuals around them.

For instance, a study from primary and secondary high school revealed a great number of white educators developing a bad encounter with black students. As a result of this, black boys may not put in as much effort into their education, because these harmless students may believe there is no point in revising or listening in class if teachers happen to be racist and not provide any help to them. This would mean most African and Caribbean boys would create a no school subculture where there would be a set of morals, manners, and behaviour in disagreement to the core aims of the school. If students are not concerned with learning because of the actions of teachers this could mean that they can wish to have a huge goal however, it may be tough to succeed their goals without the reinforcement of tutors.

Recently a news article from BBC news stated that “one in 10 secondary pupils are ‘bullied weekly’ and 35% have been targeted in the last two months, according to figures from the Schools Health Research Network”.(BBC news. 2019).

An example of secondary bullying comes from a recent incident the Guardian has published, “pupil exclusions for racist bullying hit a record high”, the article states that a “record number of children are being excluded from school for racist bullying”.

“The Guardian analysis has found… Just last year, 4″,590 cases of racial abuse among pupils were believed serious enough to warrant fixed-period or permanent exclusion, up from, 4″,085 the previous year” (Marsh, S. 2018, pp 4)

This paragraph from an article shows that bullying has increased massively over the years to a high amount of innocent students being harassed because of who they are, where they originate from, the colour of their skin, beliefs and sexual preferences which is disturbing to comprehend in the ‘21st century’. However, there is a huge amount of bullying offences being reported which we can recognise as a good thing because the bullies are being excluded which would hopefully teach them a lesson on the consequences of being racist.

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This information appears after a videotape of a Syrian refugee was attacked to the ground in his school went viral. The footage shows the 15-year-old Syrian boy, named ‘Jamal’ insulted and shoved to the ground and had waterboarded him, as other pupils gazed on. A teenage boy faces an assault charge over the incident. Jamal was insulted and harassed because he was of a different race and because he was a refugee.

Some authorities put the rise in race-based bullying down to bigger hate offences and racism in society at large. Some people have stated that the rise might be because of a zero tolerance approach to discrimination. The Guardian states “our own research shows that overt and covert instances of racism are a daily fact of life for far too many black and minority ethnic pupils and teachers”.(Marsh, S. 2018, pp 4) this quote is stating that till this day there are still people openly and also in secret are being bullied because of their ethnic background.

“A councillor, Bernard McGuin, has discovered that Jamal wrote to authorities to ask for help three weeks before the alleged attack. Mcguin said Jamal emailed him listing a series of “incidents and allegations” in an email, entitled “ complaint- please help me”. Jamal said he had written to the actual school he received the racist abuse at, West Yorkshire police…, Ofsted and the Department for Education on 4 October which was three weeks earlier to the attack”.( Marsh, S. 2018, pp 6).

The school and everyone else listed have yet responded which just shows how dismissive racial abuse is in the UK, Jamal contacted his school, police, and the council to report he was being bullied, they did nothing, bullies also broke his wrist, they did nothing however when the recorded video of Jamal went public and received millions of views they had to step in only because it was publicized.

The education system lacks the teeth to rescue these children from the suffering they face, despite knowing the negative and, often, lifelong impact on them.

This would seriously affect Jamal’s education as he would feel as though no one is there to help him, while he receives all the racial abuse just for being a different race and for being a migrant, it would cause Jamal or other students who have been through similar abuse just like Jamal to avoid going to school altogether so they don’t receive the abuse, which would cause them to miss important lessons and receive low grades.

Majority of ethnic minorities have diverse backgrounds and cultures. As a large amount of them don’t have English as their first language, this would make learning in English harder. The verbal barrier could trigger problems in completing work at school. Additionally, the communication between students and teachers can impact the achievement of a student. The teachers could perhaps mistake verbal difficulties for lacking ability.

The achievement of a student can be influenced by language barriers from an ethnic upbringing because the interaction amongst a student and teacher can be deterred.

Thus, this essay has demonstrated how major the degree of ethnicity has on influencing educational attainment.

Word count: 2970

References: (2019). [online] Available from: [Accessed 22 Dec. 2018].

BBC News. (2019). One in 10 pupils ‘bullied weekly’. [online] Available from: [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019].

Brackenreed, D. (2011). Inclusive education: identifying teachers’ strategies for coping with perceived stressors in inclusive classrooms. International Education Studies, Canadian Journal of educational administration and policy, 3(3).

Crombie, M. (2012). Literacy. In L. Peer & G. Reid (Eds.) (2012) special educational needs: a guide for inclusive practice. London: Sage publishing, pp. 141-153.

Department of Education (2011) what are the equality and diversity issues that services for young people need to address? (online). Available from:…/equality-and-diversity-issues.doc [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018] (2018). Ethnicity vs Race – Difference and Comparison | Diffen. [online] Available from: [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019]. (n.d.). Understanding equality | Equality and Human Rights Commission. [online] Available from: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].

Gibson, S. (2015). When rights are not enough: What is? Moving towards new pedagogy for inclusive education within UK universities. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(8), pp.875-886.

Gov (2010). SCE-racist incidents reporting and guidance update. p.1.

Hockings, Prof. C (2010) “Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education: a synthesis of research” York: Higher Education Academy

Marsh, S. and Mohdin, A. (2018). Pupil exclusions for racist bullying hit a record high. The Guardian, 1 December, p. 4-6. (2016). [online] Available from: [Accessed 20 Dec. 2018]. (2018). Queensborough Community College. [online] Available from: [Accessed 22 Dec. 2018].

Westwood, P. (2018). Inclusive and adaptive teaching. New York: Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa Business, pp.4-15.


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