While the consequences of pandemic-related disruption remain to be seen, quantitative evidence highlights that in terms of educational attainment, ethnic minorities in Grampian are routinely achieving higher than those from a Scottish/British background, with no relevant disparities in terms of school exclusions and attendance. This information is usefully compared to the economic/employment experiences of ethnic minorities, most notably Africans who have proportionally the highest level of attainment in terms of university degrees, but also the highest rate of unemployment.
The review of local evidence suggests that schools are one of the most important points of contact for newcomers’ integration. Parents’ engagement with the school community can be affected by language barriers and the pressures of working long hours and shifts, highlighting the importance of ESOL classes as a tool for improving integration through language learning.
The evidence also suggests that the older a pupil is when they arrive in Scotland, the more difficult it is for them to integrate into a new school, and those with high levels of English and qualifications gained in Scotland are more likely to be successful in the employment market. In line with the influence schools have in boosting integration, recent evidence shows that ethnic minority communities would like to see schools increasing the work they do around equality issues.
- Making the most of the link between ESOL learning and integration opportunities.
- Ensuring that opportunities to learn English genuinely meet local needs.
- Getting a better understanding of the experience of ethnic minority young people starting school at a senior stage, and exploring what more could be done to support them.
- Getting a better understanding of how pandemic-related disruption has affected ethnic minority young people, especially those already disadvantaged due to poverty, digital exclusion or language barriers.
- Sharing best practice for communication between schools and families, especially identifying strategies to support families in meeting home-learning requirements, understanding the Scottish education system, etc.
Data Source: 2021, .