Immigrant Student Achievement and Educational Policy in England

  • John Jerrim
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 9)


Immigration into England has been a hot political and policy topic in recent years. It was one of the key issues highlighted in the referendum on whether to remain in the European Union, and was a key factor in many people’s decision to vote for Brexit. In this chapter, I put the recent wave of migration into England into a historical context, highlighting how the last 20 years has seen an unprecedented rise in the number and types of immigrants who are coming into this country. The chapter then goes on to discuss the educational achievement of young people in England who are from an immigrant background, with a particular focus upon those who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL). I show how immigrant–native gaps in achievement are perhaps not as pronounced as many might anticipate, and that EAL pupils actually make greater progress during their time in school than other groups. A range of factors associated with immigrant pupils’ academic performance are then discussed, including age of arrival into the country, geographic location in England, and whether the pupils remain within the same school. To conclude, I highlight how the current evidence base on “what works” in England for immigrant pupils is weak, though with some promising initiatives currently being evaluated via randomized controlled trials. Together, this provides a comprehensive overview of what we know about the lives of immigrant children within England’s schools.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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