Immigrant Children More ‘at home’ in UK Schools Compared to Indigenous Children


30 December 2015
According to a new study, immigrant children feel more comfortable and at home in schools in the United Kingdom compared to schools in their home countries. The report was published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and it proved that approximately 80% of children who were born in the UK were less at home in schools than 82% of those who migrated from other countries. The study also included other countries, but France came in dead last with 42% of indigenous school children feeling that they felt like outcasts in their schools.
The report also revealed that in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, first generation students depicted a stronger sense of belonging at school compared to other students. Besides the UK and the US, 40 other countries were included in the study which included Qatar, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The research was also eye opening for a number of other reasons. One of them being that immigrant children had a stronger sense of ambition compared to native children in the same UK schools. 50% of the former revealed that they enjoyed tackling complex problems with only 40% of the latter revealing the same.
However, these facts did not mean that they did poorly in international tests conducted for 15 year olds which was also a part of the PISA research. In reading, problem solving, and mathematics, immigrant school children lagged behind native ones; indigenous school children scored 30 points less than native ones in problem solving, 10 points less in mathematics, and 5 points less in reading.
The research also revealed that UK immigrants were more likely to enrol their children in schools that are known for their high immigrant intake compared to other countries. Just about 70% of immigrant children were enrolled in schools where more than half of the children were from immigrant families compared to two-thirds for countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study.
On the other hand, the study also included the fact that the strong numbers of immigrant students in UK schools has nothing to do with their performance and has no adverse effects on their education. The concentration of socio economic disadvantages in schools that prevent student accomplishments was found to have more of an adverse effect on immigrant school children rather than their origins.
Similarly, no link was found between the number of immigrant children and the overall performance of the schools they study in. It is mostly their personal circumstances that have an effect on how they perform in school with more non-native students performing poorly who came from poor or struggling families. Native students who had access to more resources at home as well as in school were higher achievers compared to immigrant school children.


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