Research carried out by Greaves, Macmillan and Sibieta suggests that disadvantaged pupils perform better in Inner London than in other regions.
Research carried out by Greaves, Macmillan and Sibieta (2014) (prepared for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission) suggests that disadvantaged pupils (those who are eligible for Free School Meals) perform better in Inner London than in other regions. In addition, there have been smaller improvements in other large cities across England, such as Birmingham and Manchester. These changes are explained due to the mix of pupils in Inner London and other large cities which are very different from the mix in the rest of England, with higher levels of deprivation and a greater number of pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Over 80% of all pupils in Inner London were from non-white backgrounds in 2012, compared with 14% in the rest of England. In addition, in 2012 over half of pupils in Inner London were recorded as having English as an Additional language (EAL). As the researchers point out, this is important as those with EAL include recent immigrants, who might have limited use of the English language, as well as people of ethnic minorities who have been in the UK for much longer and speak English as a first language. In addition the research suggests that the populations of Inner and Outer London are more likely to have an occupation classified as higher professional than populations elsewhere in England. Therefore, it can be argued that such differences could be important drivers of pupil attainment, since evidence from previous research suggest that parental education and parental occupation have strong effects on pupil attainment (Goodman and Gregg, 2010). As the researchers argue, recent immigrants may well have different outcomes from those of more established ethnic minorities.