Coalition for Racial Equality & Rights

The State of The Nation 2013: Education

cover image of Education report 

The State of the Nation: Race & Racism in Scotland - Education

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights has now published a new edition of our series “The State of The Nation: Race & Racism in Scotland” focussing on education. 


This report sets out the available data and also highlights significant gaps in existing Scottish Government statistics including the lack of information on pupil ethnicity from public schools. 


It was notable that there was a disparity between the 2001 census figures and the numbers of pupils attending years 1 to 4 in Scottish Secondary Schools (school census) highlighting the importance of maintaining good quality school census data.

The data indicate significant variation in student progression in year 5; students of Indian, African, Chinese and Asian Other ethnicity all showed much higher rates of progression than students of Occupational Traveller, Gypsy Traveller, Mixed and White UK origin.


In terms of school leavers, Chinese pupils were markedly above the median for those leaving with higher qualifications as were pupils of Indian, Pakistani and Asian-Other ethnicity, while those groups below the median included pupils of White UK, White Other and Black origin.


Data on the Further Education Sector highlights differences in attendance patterns between ethnic groups.  There was, for example, a clear gender difference amongst minority ethnic students with women in the majority in 11 ethnic categories. However, in four ethnic categories males were in the majority. Whilst all ethnic groups showed peak attendance within the 25-64 age group there was also evidence of ethnic variation in age related attendance. 


Similarly there were differences in course and qualification preferences between ethnicities.  It was evident that female students from all ethnic groups showed a preference for social studies, health and social work while male students evidenced greater preference for construction and engineering. However, there were marked differences.   In contrast to white students Indian students did not show a strong gender preference for construction. Students of Indian and Pakistani ethnicity demonstrated a gender preference for business management and catering, subjects which within other ethnicities do not generally have a marked gender preference. 


Within Higher Education there was some indication of ethnic differences in dropout rates and, as with FE, also indications of differences in course preferences.


(It should be noted that references to ethnic categories do not indicate nationality or place of birth, only broad ethnic category e.g. Chinese should be read as Scottish/British/Asian Chinese).

Download The Report (pdf 5.61MB)

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