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Terms such as ‘white privilege’ may have contributed to the ‘neglect’ of disadvantaged white students, MPs report says | UK News

The use of terms including “white privilege” may have contributed to the “neglect” of working-class white students in the education system, a Commons committee found.

Members of the education select committee said schools must heed the implication of such “politically controversial terminology” and find “a better way to talk about racial disparities.”

A report from the committee agreed with the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities that the term “white privilege” can be “divisive” and said disadvantaged white students have been abandoned by “muddled” political thought.

Robert Halfon
Robert Halfon said disadvantaged white students “feel anything but privileged when it comes to education”

He also accused the Ministry of Education (DfE) of failing to recognize the extent of the problem.

Conservative MP and chairman of the education select committee, Robert Halfon, said working-class white students have been “belittled and neglected” by the system “for decades.”

Accusing governments, including his own, of a “lack of attention” to the issue, Halfon urged the education ministry to “desperately” tackle the issue.

The DfE said the government was focused on ensuring “no child is left behind”.

Among the recommendations put forward by MEPs were the need for tailor-made funding at the local level and the emphasis on attracting good teachers to difficult areas.

Apprenticeship and professional opportunities should also be more widely promoted, they said.

The committee found that 47% of white UK pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) – around 28,000 children – were not reaching the level of development expected by the end of first year of study in 2018/2019.

In 2019, only 17.7% of white UK WSF-eligible students achieved at least a good grade (5th grade or above) in English and Mathematics on the GCSE, compared to 22.5% of all WSF-eligible students.

The report was commissioned to examine the extent of learning lost during the spring term

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This notice was published: 2021-06-21 15:42:00

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