Education Committee - First Report
Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children

Here you can browse the report together with the Proceedings of the Committee. The published report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 11 June 2014.


Terms of Reference


1 Introduction


Our inquiry

The scope of this report


Defining " working class"

Defining " white"

Defining " underachievement"

Risks of focusing specifically on white working class underachievement

2 The extent of white working class underachievement in education

Do " white working class" children underachieve in education?

Free School Meals data

The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE)

The general link between economic deprivation and educational



Data quality and availability

Regional variation

Will school improvement alone close the gap?

3 Factors that may contribute to white working class underachievement

Family and home factors

Aspirations and expectations

" Social capital" and advice and guidance

Parental engagement and family learning

Parenting skills and language in the home

School factors

Can schools make a difference?

Curriculum relevance

Absences and exclusions  

Cultural clashes and behaviour

Wider social issues and other factors

Working class engagement with the " marketization" of education

The " immigrant paradigm"

Changing labour markets and the effect on engagement


4 Addressing the problem


" Closing the gap"

The Pupil Premium

Other disadvantage funding

The EEF Toolkit

Tackling regional variation

A national strategy versus area-based responses

Regional programmes

Sub-regional challenges

Regional funding

Best practice in schools

Ofsted's 2008 good practice report-white boys from low income


Providing space to complete homework

Spreading good practice and school cooperation

Deployment of teachers

The Talented Leaders Programme and National Service

Data on the deployment of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)

Parental engagement

Evidence for the use of this approach

Early Years

Vocational education

The impact of the Wolf reforms on white working class boys

Work-related learning

Aligning social and education policies

5 Conclusions

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex: Programme for the Committee's visit to Peterborough, 6 February 2014

Formal Minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

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Prepared 18 June 2014