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BAME Students

Volume 698: debated on Wednesday 7 July 2021

What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the comparative performance of BAME students in (a) further and higher education and (b) statutory education. (902455)

Equality of opportunity for talented young people across the country is one of the Government’s highest priorities. We are focused on giving people, whatever their background, ethnicity or circumstances, the high-quality education and skills that they deserve to succeed.

I am very pleased to hear that, but the reality in terms of the results is that those policies are not working. Most black and ethnic minority groups improve educational attainment relative to white students up to the age of 16, but from the age of 16 there is a drop off in every single group. Whether it be Chinese, who are the highest-performing, or the lowest-performing groups, all of them do less well relative to white students after the age of 16. While I recognise and welcome the Government’s rhetoric, what actual policies are there to do something about that alarming decline?

We recognise that raising educational standards is absolutely key to levelling up opportunity, providing £14 billion in over three years, the biggest uplift to school funding in a decade, investing it in early years education and targeting more than £3 billion in recovery funding. That is why, compared with 2009-10, the proportion achieving A-levels and equivalent improved across all ethnic groups, with the largest improvement in the black and black British ethnic group.