Children of immigrants outperformed native speakers: GCSE English results

Updated: Jun 11

Newly released government GCSE figures have revealed that native English speakers have fallen behind the children of immigrants in Attainment 8, on all of the key measures across eight GCSEs. The same tendency can be noticed in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which assesses marks in English language and literature, maths, the sciences, history or geography and a foreign language.


Reports say that in 2019, 43.8 per cent of pupils from linguistic backgrounds other than English achieved a strong 9-5 grade pass in English and maths, compared to 43.2 per cent of their native speaking peers.An average Attainment 8 score at state-funded schools was 46.6 per cent for native English speaking teenagers compared to 47.6 per cent for those who come from immigrant families.


Attainment by pupil characteristics

This trend was first noted in 2017, when children with English as an additional language outperformed native English speakers across all the key GCSE measures.


Responding to the impressive figures, Bea Sieradzka, the founder of the World of Love Festival, the new family language event in Bournemouth, which in 2019 gathered people from more than 20 diverse communities, says that these findings are a great example to prove how useful learning languages is. At the event in Dorset, children can take part in free kids’ activities and interactive language games from different countries, try their hand at the different workshops and watch international artists performing on stage. This is all to inspire children and their families to learning languages and sharing the knowledge of other cultures.


The new government data shows that bilingualism not only improves our social lives, helps to travel and makes us more competitive in the job market. Modern research studies demonstrate that the ability to speak two languages or more improves attention control, problem solving, helps with multitasking and in general, improves a child’s educational development.


Attainment by ethnicity, England, 2019, state funded schools

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