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In United Kingdom schools, the white working class children form the largest ethnic group in the country which is characterized by underachievement and who have constantly faced a deep seated disadvantages. The white British FSM pupils form the lowest attaining group with report indicating that only 17 percent of the minority group achieve 5+A*-C including physics and math as compared to the 45% which is the national average. Being eligible for FSM shows that it depresses scores of these children by 32 percent points for the white boys while depresses by 34 percent for the points for the white girls in the same minority group (Moore 1999).
According to the longitudinal study conducted by England stand in 2008 on the minority ethnic pupils found out that the white British pupils form the lowest attaining group and the results applied whether one looks at the low socio-economic status, mothers with low qualifications in education, entitlement to FSM, those who resides in rented housing, living in single parent households or even on due to neighborhood deprivation. The group also represented a high percentage of students who were notice to make the least progress over their courses in the secondary school (Farish, et al 1995).
Research as shown that the ethnic minority groups makes the greatest progress on average as compared to white students between ages of eleven and sixteen hence making the whites the lowest performing group at age of sixteen and this has been greatly associated with the free school meals which reflect the highest associations of social class with educational performance (Gillborn 1990).
The independent commission on social mobility in 2009 identified the following groups as the lowest attaining group sin the country: white British boys and girls and Caribbean boys from low socio-economic class homes.
Equal opportunities and social justice.
Over the past years the government has worked tirelessly hard to build a fairer and more equal society where person’s chances and opportunities are determined by their talents and effort rather than based on their class, religion, race, sexuality or even gender. The government in the recent past admitted to the fact that class and race hold people back from progressing ahead.
Diversity often bring many benefits unfortunately they almost benefit the rich and these ranges form the cheaper and more hardworking labour, better cuisine and to interesting friend in schools for their children mainly from the third world middle class and this result to a social inequality in the society (Cole ,2006).
Its obviously known that disadvantaged limit to access education reduces the ability of children to benefit from the education they receive thus the problem fuels the denial of an equal access to opportunities of education and hence the tendency to leave education on the first opportunity as a result of underachievement due to social and environmental factors (Shaw , 1995).
The poor white working-class has been at a disadvantaged position both in relation to education and underachievement for along time hence the need to employ a wholesale systemic response to tackle the issue. The white class does have a lot of deserving needs that should be addressed by the government in terms of funding and giving of grants, the group should be treated as a minority group if the problem of underachievement is to be necessarily addressed (Wilkinson et al 2009).
The problem of gender and racial inequality has been experienced since early 1970’s and for the present problems to be solved the past inequalities have to be conveniently dealt with. Its almost impossible to solve the problem of discrimination on sex ,gender and race if there is to be equality in the society, so in order to deal with past inequalities women and ethic minorities like the poor white working class could still be given a preferential treatment if the an amicable solution is to be found. Those with deserving need should be considered first as compared to those who are well off in the society as it’s never sufficient to remove discrimination and promote equality.
Importance of language and communication
Human language is very unique as it forms a symbolic communication system which is learned instead of being biologically inherited. The symbols used in language are given meaning by the users and such meaning is arbitrarily assigned. And does not specially resemble what it stands for. Effective language skills are very essential for allowing children to access the curriculum offered hence language is described as a cognitive development and learning as a social activity. Language is therefore critical for accessing literacy as well as the whole of curriculum and the childe development (Dorling, 2010).
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When child starts primary school it’s expected that he understands most of what is said, able to express themselves clearly, share there own feelings s and even make their own needs known to others. Thus children who start school with speech language and communication needs may become withdrawn or present with a challenging behavior with their primary school environment. Thus its very speaking and listening is on of the most important element in children learning.
Communication is used in for learning purposes in school a spoken language pervades the environment in primary school and it the vehicle used for most learning. Language is also used for communication with friends and at home hence creating a positive environment for learning for children. Language is also us used by teacher in the management of their class rooms, to determine rules and routines and to ensure that children are aware of their expectations. Thus effective language and communication determines how pupils benefit from what they are being though both in school and at home thus contribute to their level achievement.
Culture has played a critical role in the alienation and underachievement of the minority groups and especially the white working class pupils in the United Kingdom. The poor white boys fail and underachieve mainly because of a weak and unhealthy family culture. Family culture forms the backbone of the society and where family ties are weak leads to production of individuals with weak culture in the society for instance the minority groups in UK like the Africans and the West Indian have been found to achieve much ahead of their counterparts the whites (Ball, 2008).
Despite the fact that the families of these children immigrated to the country with nothing not even the language they have managed to progress successfully because they have a strong culture especially strong family values, strong religious faith, strong working ethic and more importantly strong family ties with devoted fathers. Such strong culture has shaped the lives of their children making them have great aspirations and determination in life hence their achievement. On the other hand the pupils from the working white class and the west Indian boys have been constantly underachieving and this is attributed to weak culture in terms of poor family ties, low self perception, and more so come from families with no work ethic and no fathers hence no role models to champion for a better future leading to their failure and underperformance in school (Brown, 1998).
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The white working children in United Kingdom are faced with several ethical dilemmas including: they form the largest ethnic group across the country that underachieve in school and often fall behind from the early years of schooling. This group also suffers from the worst levels of attendance and exclusion hence increasing their chances of likelihood of being Neets (not in education, employment or training) as compared to other ethnic groups. This kids from this group are tend to have lowest aspirations and attend to schools that are known to face extra cost pressures and suffer the problem of not being included in the discussions that cover on diversity and identity hence being exposed to losing out on both educational and general opportunities and benefits like failure to participate in extra curricular activities (Siraj-Blatchford, 1994).
The white working class children face the problem of negative perceptions of their own identity and feel disenfranchised as much as the pupils from other ethnic backgrounds. This has led them being excluded from academic opportunities like from participating in group discussions that concern with ethnic minority and diversity and this in long time ah sled to discrimination of the group. This has contributed to low self esteem and the related underachievement in academic perils (Gillborn, 2008).
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To address the issue schools should invest more in a curriculum that engages the white working clad pupils in issues that deal with diversity and the need to understand the history of diversity hence making them appreciate the virtue of living together. research as shown that UK schools don’t teach enough on the united kingdom identity and history hence the urgent need for schools to play a leading role in teaching its pupils on issues that promote community cohesion like on free speech, rule of law, mutual tolerance and having respect for equal rights and this therefore promotes understanding between various communities hence help combat intolerance and religious extremism.
In order to solve such dilemmas despite the fact that the group is not a minority group but rather more of a cultural minority, the white working class should be treated as an ethnic minority group (Platt, 2009).The achievement of the white working class pupils in the country will be greatly enhanced if the schools develop the best practice to address the issue by applying the previously learned lessons on other underachieving groups. The group should be given the opportunities that the minority ethnic group gets from the government and this will contribute to the improvement of the children as exclusion is reduced.
Furthermore, the central and local government and schools should increase investments directed towards addressing the underachievement of the white working children across the country. These organizations need to increase projects that are led by national strategies and delivered by the local authorities and schools that lay emphasis on the underachieving group and target on the ethnic minority. Such projects should focus on the contribution that is made by the communities especially through the raising of aspirations of the parents, pupils and families. This effort is boosted with the help of back up from schools do not tolerate underachievement and are determined to eliminate the problem leading to large improvement of life chances of children from minority ethnic background (Millam, 2011).
In addition to that, other initiatives like the 5A’s models should be applied to solve the situation facing the white working-class in the country. The model entails, awareness, acceptance area of focus, alignment, and action. The awareness level involves coming into terms wit the fact that there is a problem of existence of a target group that is being unfairly treated and that its members have both individuals as well as shared identities.
Also, it’s very important that it’s accepted that the school system is part of the problem and it can as ell be part of the solution especially when it recognizes the influential effects that the wider community posses especially when they are engaged in partnership deals. Finally there is need for the alignment of the students school and home experiences encouraging parents to get involved in breaking barriers that exist between students and the school and this is effective when couple with actions that are direct on the group issue especially those designed to ensure that the work is explicit, fully funded and is well managed (Tett, et al 2010).
Another recommendation to solve the dilemmas of the white working class is the involvement of a dedicated home-school liaison staff that particularly understands and respects parents as well as bringing in to school [parents who have a particular knowledge of the are as well its history hence are able to contribute to the value added school curriculum (Gillborn,2007).The schools should be given an opportunity to discover how to become more inclusive and welcoming to parents and the need to develop parental advocacy that helps to address the problem of power imbalance that exist between the working class parents and the school hence minimizing the confrontations that often arise between them.
In conclusion to solve the problem of the white working class there is need for legislation that applies beyond schools and penetrates to colleges and other learning providers. Such laws should be able to give people permission to talk about sensitive issues like racial, gender and ethnic discrimination more freely. The problem requires strategies that will bring together multiple agencies that often have worked in isolation for instance forming partnerships that comprise of the family, school system, colleges, community organizations, workplaces, and any other interested agency (Riddell, et al 2001).
Working in isolation of such stakeholders renders them ineffective and offers piecemeal solutions to problems and are able to deal with issues one by one but working in cooperation yield a variety of solutions at a go. The collaborative approach ensures that the stakeholders work together to achieve a single goal hence addressing the specific needs of the group. Such group working also needs a systemic change and the resourcing associated with it. Finally there is need to creation of a cultural and political environment that give professionals the very much needed courage and language they require to do for the white working-class young people what has been tried and accomplished for others.