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Time for White and Black families to learn from the Chinese community

British Chinese pupils are setting the benchmark in GCSE’s and could hold the secret to educational success for other ethnic groups, according to the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG).

BTEG has released a new policy briefing paper entitled “What more can we takeaway from the Chinese community?” to raise awareness of the significant level of British Chinese educational success.

Chinese communities place an exceptionally high value on educational attainment and believe that this is a prerequisite for greater social mobility later on in life. According to the 2001 census, 30 percent of the British Chinese post-16 population are full time students compared to a UK average of 8 percent.

This drive for educational attainment also seems to negate the effects of deprivation. The national average for pupils in 2009 who were eligible for free school meals (FSM) and achieved 5+ A*-C GCSE grades including English and Mathematics stands at 26.6 percent. This means that an alarming 3 in 4 pupils are failing to reach the national benchmark that include the curriculum's core subjects. Despite facing the similar disadvantage, it is astonishing that British Chinese pupils who are entitled to FSM achieved 70.8 percent in the same category.

Jeremy Crook OBE, Director of BTEG, said:
“The Government needs to find out why so many White and Black pupils from low income families leave school without a good education while Chinese pupils from similar backgrounds continue to achieve great results”

“The existing focus on under-achievement masks the important and positive achievements that some ethnic groups such as the British Chinese are making. Finding a way to inspire and reproduce these attitudes on a wider scale might bring other ethnic groups one step closer to reducing the ethnic achievement gap. It seems clear that all Chinese children understand from their parents that failure in education is not an option. The high expectation of both parents and teachers clearly makes a difference”

The briefing:
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1. BTEG is a small national charity which was set up in 1991 by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) voluntary and community organisations from across the country. The charity works tirelessly to support local Black and Minority Ethnic organisations that help people into work and advises government departments. BTEG is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Tackling Race Inequalities Fund.

2. For more information about this briefing paper contact Mr. Jeremy Crook, Director. Tel: 0207 843 6110 or email: or use his contact form.

3. Jeremy Crook, Executive Director of BTEG is a member of the Department for Communities and Local Government Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership Board, the Department for Education’s Third Sector Group and DWP’s Ethnic Minority Advisory Group, which advises Ministers.

Contact: Jeremy Crook, Director, Black Training and Enterprise Group
Lancaster House, 31-33 Islington High Street, London N1 9LH
Tel: 020 7843 6110 Mobile: 07766114877

Registered charity No: 1056043


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