Access Arrangements for Ethnicity

Access Arrangements for Ethnicity

Access to exams is as much about perception of education that it is with a disability.

Here at the Exam House we believe that Exam centres have critical role in reaching out to parts of society which schools often struggle to reach. Providing Exam taking for GCSE and A levels for private candidates , home schoolers and for those access arrangements cannot be accommodated by school.

This Exam blog sets out why in light of the success of some of the BAME, it is the white working class group of boys that are at the most vulnerable when it comes to access to exams. Followed by being the greatest fall out from education then any other group bar Roma gypsies.

There are some strong data coming out about what parts of the society are being left behind in education. It is mainly white working class boys.

Access arrangements now can be seen as much about ethnicity and the likelihood of opportunity rather than about disability.

The 2010 Equalities act made it a requirement that A level rewarding exam boards make reasonable adjustments where a disabled individual would be a disadvantage in undertaking an exam.

This adjustment maybe unique to this individual person taking the exam and may not be prescribed on a list of available access arrangements.

There is no duty on the exam boards to make any adjustment to the exam objectives being tested in an exam.

These are noble ideas and by and large have been well received by the schools and colleges that administer the exams along with the exams boards .

There is a difference between access arrangements and the idea of access to exams in the first place.

The access problem in the UK to exams is not whether the reasonable adjustments brought on in the 2010 equalities act is fallen. Far from it.

It is whole actually sets out to whom gets to sit exams and the lack of Access.

The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) are often assumed to be the most vulnerable. While all white people are assumed to have white privilege.

However looking at the data is it the white working class boys that come out worst for both results and access.

We need to know where we are compared to peers to help the least well off.

Bangladeshi-Brits earn 20 per cent less than whites on average, for instance, but those with Indian heritage are likely to earn 12 per cent more.

Black Britons on average earn 9 per cent less, but Chinese earn 30 per cent more.

There is clearly a non pattern of discrimination of people based on their colour. Ie. it i a complex and opaque levels of differences between the BAME group.

Ucas, the university admissions service, can provide a little insight into ethnicity of academic progress.

UCAS tell us the usual story of rich and poor differences one has come to expect. The real story is nearly half of children eligible for free school meals in inner London go on to higher education. Outside of London, where there are a much higher proportion of White working class boys, is it 26 percent.

Just some of the details. Black African British children outperform white children. Poor Chinese girls defined by free school meals do better than rich white children.

The group that is least likely to get in or go to university are poor white boys. Every ethnic group attends university at a higher rate than the white British.

Those white who attend are middle class and 57 per cent are female. 

The least likely group to go on to higher education are poor white boys.

Just 13 per cent of them go on to higher education, less than any black or Asian group.

The GCSE data also backs it up; 17 per cent of white British pupils eligible for free school meals achieve a strong pass in English and Maths.

Students categorised as Bangladeshi, Black African and Indian are more than double as likely to do so.

In 2007, the state sector saw 23 per cent of black students go on to higher education; this was true for 22 per cent of whites. So about the same. But at the last count, in 2018, the gap had widened to 11 points (41 per cent for black students, 30 per cent for whites). The children of the white working class are falling away from their peers, in danger of becoming lost.

There is an interesting twist to this all.

White working class boys fall into the venn diagram of terrible institutional social profession.

White boys and males are at the least concerned corner of concern because of their so called 'white privilege and bizarre media driven ideas of ‘toxic masculinity’ and ‘white privilege’.

Despite the fact that in Britain class has always been the most significant indicator of true privilege rather than colour of skin.

So if one attempted to provide positive action, adding them to BAME support levels you get a slap down and public flogging.

Dulwich college, Winchester all turned down cash to help poor white boys while taking cash for poor BAME boys.

While the inciped Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust, a charity whose stated mission is to improve social mobility, described Thwaites’s these offers as ‘obnoxious’.

Peter Lampl sits along side parliamentarians in dismissing the concerned of white working class boys. So much so they even came up with a word for it.

Harriet Harman invented a ‘protected characteristics' list. making it plainly obvious to exclude White working class boys .

Protected characteristics include ‘race’, ‘sex’ and ‘sexual orientation’, but parliament is not alone in interpreting these as ‘non-white’, ‘female’ and ‘gay’.

The equalities Act made if clear positive discrimination is against the law. Cleverly and quietly positive actions were actively encouraged.

Organisations cannot have quotas, but they can set targets.

Employers cannot refuse to look at job applications from people who lack these so called protected characteristics. Cleverly can add words such as ‘applications are particularly welcome’ from BAME, female or LBGTQ+ candidates.

Basically saying some need not to bother to apply.

Some others

In 2016 the BBC wanted half its workforce and leadership would be female by 2020.

An 8 per cent target for LGBT employees, while-only around 2 per cent of the population identify as LGBT.

15 per cent of employees from a BAME background.

All three succeeded and add for good measure the black life's matter protested response was to up it to 20 percent.

Nearly all of this misses both the point and the target.

The Target is the poor. Prescribing specific groups according to Ethnicity, leaves other more vulnerable poor out.

‘low and intermediate income households’ are hugely underrepresented in its workforce. But what does it do about it?

‘It always got a few headlines,’ says Mary Curnock Cook, the former head of Ucas. ‘Where it never got any traction at all was in policy-making in government. I began to think that the subject of white boys is just too difficult for them, given the politicisation of feminism and women’s equality.’

Will the next round of nasal glasing commissions really see the underlying cause of white working class boys at school?

It might dodge it all together. Or with any luck, the ‘positive Action’ or Harriet Harman’s Protected Characteristics might finally be collared as the cause of the problem.