Pupils who speak English as a second language are outperforming native English speakers at GCSE level in Gloucestershire.
A detailed breakdown of last summer’s exam results showed children who don’t have English as their mother tongue get, on average, roughly half a grade higher than those who do.
Gloucestershire is a richly diverse county full of people of different backgrounds.
And there is nowhere were this is more apparent than at Widden Primary School, which has more than 40 different languages spoken by pupils.
Now, it seems pupils from backgrounds other than white British, for whom English is not their native tongue, are overtaking their native peers with their results.
How it’s all worked out
The government measures exam performance in terms of what it calls “Attainment 8”.
This gives each pupil an overall score based on the GCSE grades they got in eight subjects, including 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. English and Maths count double.
How much better did they do?
In Gloucestershire, the 324 children who spoke English as a second language got an average score of 49.0, while the 5,837 native English speakers got an average of 48.4.
A child is defined as speaking English as a second language if English is not the dominant language spoken in their family home.
The data also showed significant differences in performance by race.
Chinese children got the highest average score, at 60.7.
That fell to 56.0 for Asian children, 48.4 for mixed-race children, 48.0 for white children and 40.7 for black children.
The results in Gloucestershire 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.
The data, released by the Department for Education, covers all state-funded schools including academies and city technology colleges.
Independent schools are not included.