Black children are twice as likely to misbehave than their classmates, according to new research revealed in Manchester today.
More than six million students aged five to 16 in England were included in the study, conducted by Professor Steve Strand at Warwick University, and discussed at the British Educational Research Association conference in Manchester today.
One in 20 black Caribbean youngsters have behavioural issues, compared with one in 40 white British children and one in 200 British Chinese students.
Prof Strand said: “There’s two main explanations: one is that they’re more at risk, as a group they experience more socio-economic deprivation and poverty.
“The other argument is there’s a bias within the education system and low teacher expectations.
“These are the two main arguments and both of these factors play a role in it.”
The study also said that event when the effects of poverty are considered, black pupils are still likely to have special requirements and Dr Strand
Even when the effects of poverty are taken into account, black Caribbean pupils are still more likely to be considered to have these special needs, it said black Caribbean pupils are still over-represented and it suggests that ‘there’s some kind of factor, other than the great risk due to poverty, that’s behind this’.
Black African students, are not over-represented in this SEN category – many black African families arrived in Britain in the 1990s while many black Caribbean children are from families who arrived in the 1950s.
Families who arrived more recently are more likely to concentrate on education as they see it as a way out of poverty, more than those who have lived in the UK for a longer period.