UK Race Disparity Audit Published

The Race Disparity Audit data published this week by the Government collates pre-existing data for various public services, analysed by ethnicity.  The initial release includes datasets that the Government says were prioritised, with the intention that further data releases will follow in due course, with the data also being updated regularly.  There will no doubt be further scrutiny of the data and debates about correlation and causation.   

The initial release includes data on healthcare, education, employment and the criminal justice system.  Higher Education data does not feature heavily in the initial release, although the Government’s initial Summary Findings includes its commentary on the education data, including:

  • Pupils from Chinese and Indian backgrounds showed high attainment and progress throughout their school careers and high rates of entry to university;
  • Pupils from Gypsy and Roma, or Irish Traveller background had the lowest attainment and progress, and were least likely to stay in education after the age of 16;
  • Although pupils in the Black ethnic group made more progress overall than the national average, Black Caribbean pupils fell behind. White British pupils and those from a Mixed background also made less progress than average;
  • White British and White Irish pupils who were not eligible for free school meals were around twice as likely to attain A*- C in maths and English GCSEs as those who were eligible;
  • Pupils from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds are achieving almost as well as, and progressing better than, White British pupils, whereas the attainment and progress of Black Caribbean pupils is much lower;
  • White pupils from state schools had the lowest university entry rate of any ethnic group in 2016;
  • Of all regions in England, the most educational progress and best attainment in state primary and secondary schools was found in London, where more than half of pupils were from ethnic minority groups. Disadvantaged pupils in receipt of free school meals in London made more progress and had higher attainment than their counterparts elsewhere in England.

In announcing the audit’s publication, Government Minister Damian Green stated that  “the Government will take action with partners to address the ethnic disparities highlighted by the audit […] The approach that the Government are taking is “explain or change”. When significant disparities between ethnic groups cannot be explained by wider factors, we will commit ourselves to working with partners to change them.”

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