Educational attainment, ethnicity and disadvantage

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Summary & aims

This project is producing a compendium of evidence bringing together findings from existing research on educational attainment by pupils’ ethnicity and socio-economic deprivation. Commissioned by the Department for Education, this compendium follows a commitment made in the Government’s response to the report of the Education Select Committee on underachievement in education of white working class pupils.



This project is undertaking a review of the existing evidence on educational attainment among disadvantaged pupils from different ethnic groups. It seeks to explore why pupils in some ethnic groups are more resilient to the pressures of poverty on educational attainment, as well as why some ethnic groups have seen a greater improvement in attainment among disadvantaged pupils compared with those who are white British. The review is also considering what can be learned from steps taken to boost attainment among pupils from ethnic minority groups, and the extent to which such strategies may be applicable to white British pupils.

Timescale and funder

This project is funded by the Department for Education. It began in December 2014 and was completed in Spring 2015.


Read the report “A compendium of evidence on ethnic minority resilience to the effects of deprivation on attainment


Lucy Stokes
Principal Economist
Sarah Stevens
Library & Information Manager