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Title: What are the factors underlying the high educational performance ('overachievement') of Bangladeshi-heritage primary-school pupils?
Author: Al-Bayati, Munah
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 3354
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the ‘over-achievement’1 of UK Bangladeshi-heritage pupils in the National Curriculum Standard Assessment Tests (SATS) at Key Stage (KS) 2 (year 6; ages 10- 11) in schools in an inner-city borough. The research involved four schools in one of the poorest urban areas of the country.2 The initial attraction for choosing these schools was due to my experience working as a teacher in one and noticing that it consistently attained results above the national average in KS2 SATS while nationally pupils of Bangladeshi-heritage attained below the average. This over-achievement had been noted by Ofsted and generated media attention.3 The aims of this research were to identify and investigate the factors underlying this relative over-achievement of primary-school pupils from a Bangladeshi ethnic background and heritage. My experience as a teacher provided me with insight into the value that education held within Bangladeshi-heritage communities. It was unsurprising, therefore, to find this overachievement. I approached the phenomenon from a different perspective: why weren’t Bangladeshi-heritage communities in other areas doing as well, given their sub-cultural emphasis on education – an asset of their ethnic capital. Using qualitative methodology – thematic analysis – I interviewed pupils, parents and many other significant actors involved in the education of primary pupils in the four over-achieving schools. I had no preconceived thesis. My theoretical conclusions emerged from the data. While gender, ethnicity and social class all influence educational outcomes, it was the schools’ inclusive ethos that seemed to exert the greatest positive influence. 1 ‘Overachievement’ refers to the above the national average results in Key Stage 2 Standard Assessment Tests received by Bangladeshi-heritage pupils in the four schools studied (see Appendix 1 for the Key Stage 2 SAT results). 2 Yet the borough values education. In 2010-11, the guaranteed funding per pupil was £6,792 compared to the national average which was at least £2,500 lower (see Appendix 2 for the Index of Multiple of Deprivation 2010). 3 See BBC Race UK survey 2005, Mike Baker ‘Educational Achievement’.
Supervisor: Lerman, Steve ; Inman, Sally Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral