Black and Asian parents ambitious in applying for good schools, study finds


ASIAN and black families are more likely to get their children into a high quality school than their white British counterparts, a study has found.

Researchers from Cambridge and Bristol universities found that only a minority of parents, about 39 per cent, choose their local school as their first option. Meanwhile, white British families are more likely to opt for their local school as their top choice even if it does not perform well.

“We interpret this as being about ambition and an understanding that education and schools are a way to get on in life,” professor Simon Burgess, one of the report’s authors, was quoted as saying.

“You can’t always get into the school that you want. But Asian and black families are more likely to apply to the further away, better school, to try and get into a high quality school. White British families more likely to settle for the closer more mediocre school, and more likely to get in.”

The research published in the Oxford Review of Education found that Black or Asian families or those who speak English as a second language also make more use of the school choice system.

White parents are more likely to pick just one school than black and Asian parents.

But despite these choices, children who speak English as a second language have a lower chance of receiving an offer from their first-choice school. This could be because they were picking more ambitious schools, believe researchers.