A longitudinal analysis of UK second-generation disadvantaged immigrants

Meunier, Muriel ; Coulon, Augustin de ; Vignoles, Anna ; Marcenaro, Oscar

We consider the relative academic achievement in primary school of second-generation immigrant children in the UK. We use data for a cohort born in 1970 and find that children born to South Asian or Afro-Caribbean parents have significantly lower levels of cognitive achievement in both mathematics and language in primary school. Our analysis also reveals that the negative impact from being born... More

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    Summary
    We consider the relative academic achievement in primary school of second-generation immigrant children in the UK. We use data for a cohort born in 1970 and find that children born to South Asian or Afro-Caribbean parents have significantly lower levels of cognitive achievement in both mathematics and language in primary school. Our analysis also reveals that the negative impact from being born to South Asian parents decreases during primary school while the negative effect from being born to Afro-Caribbean parents remains approximately stable. Evidence from the current education system suggests that although ethnic minority children have relatively low achievement on exit from primary school, they also experience considerable catch up and indeed overtake their White counterparts during secondary school. Our evidence shows that even as long ago as the late 1970s, some groups of ethnic minority pupils, namely those from South Asia, were showing signs of ‘catch up’ in primary school.