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Children who speak English as second language are outperforming native English speakers in their GCSEs



Kids who speak English as a second language are outperforming native English speakers in their GCSEs in almost every part of Greater Manchester.

A breakdown of last summer’s exam results showed children who don’t have English as their mother tongue did better at school in our region.

Some educators say the gap can be explained by families who settle in the UK placing more value on education and being more driven to succeed, with parents stricter about how their children spend their time.

The achievement gap emerges from government measures of pupil exam performance, known as ‘Attainment 8.’

Last year pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) outperformed native speakers in all but one of the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Rochdale was the only place bucking the regional trend.

The Attainment 8 score measures the achievement of a pupil across eight different subjects.

The total score for each pupil is added up, and then divided by 10 to get an average attainment score.

In Manchester, the 1,637 children who spoke English as a second language got an average score of 47.0, while the 2,928 native English speakers got an average of 41.6.

That is a gap of 5.4 points per pupil.

One explanation is that EAL is often a mark of families who have recently arrived in the UK.

“People who have just arrived in a country are highly invested in making a success of their life in that country,” says Ruth Lupton, Professor of Education at the University of Manchester.

Gill Houghton is headteacher of at Abraham Moss Community School in Crumpsall, a school serving one of the most diverse areas of Manchester, with pupils speaking more than 60 languages and dialects.

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“Teachers are respected and education is highly valued in my community,” Ms Houghton explains.

“How leisure time is spent by pupils who speak English as an additional language is also a factor we consider.

“The focus is on family and community, with more restrictions placed on young people being out in the community unsupervised on the streets after school.”

Ms Houghton says it is possible children who are bi-lingual and multi-lingual have ‘a skill set acutely developed’ that native speakers do not.

The Department for Education data also revealed significant differences in performance by race – with white children doing worse than any other group in Manchester.

Nationally there is an established pattern of poor, white children under-performing at school compared to their peers of middle class or immigrant backgrounds.

English as a first language is also linked to deprivation in certain communities where there is lower aspiration.

Teachers say some native English speakers from poorer backgrounds lack confidence in the classroom, and struggle to tackle more challenging material.

There’s an another argument that white working-class children are affected by their own parents’ negative experience of education or a particular school.

Yet education researchers warn against generalising EAL pupils as more driven and aspirational.

Professor Lupton adds: “It is good to see EAL young people succeeding in education in Greater Manchester but these results do emphasise the need to understand who isn’t doing so well and what can be done for other groups of young people who are disengaged or struggling to make progress in education.”

The data covers all state-funded schools including academies and city technology colleges.

What is Attainment 8?

The Attainment 8 score measures the achievement of a pupil across eight different subjects.

The total score for each pupil is added up, and then divided by 10 to get an average attainment score. (It’s divided by 10 rather than by eight because of the double weighting for English and maths.)

An A-star counts as 8.5 points, an A as seven points, a B as 5.5 points, and so on down to one point for a G.

What are the figures for all of Greater Manchester?

In Manchester, the 1,637 children who spoke English as a second language got an average score of 47.0, while the 2,928 native English speakers got an average of 41.6.

That is a gap of 5.4 points per pupil.

In Salford the gap was 3.9 points, in Stockport 3.0 points, in Tameside 2.5 points, in Bolton 1.9 points, in Bury 1.1 points, in Wigan 0.8 points, in Trafford 0.5 points and in Oldham 0.4 points.

Only in Rochdale did native English speakers perform better, with an average score of 42.6 compared to 42.0 for those who do not speak English as their mother tongue.

The results in Greater Manchester mirrored the situation in England as whole.

The national average point score for native English speakers was 46.3, while for those who spoke English as a second language it was 47.7.

Source

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/children-who-speak-english-second-14250383

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