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Stats and ethnicity - Dr Sean Demack, Sheffield Hallam University

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Dr Sean Demack's paper at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union Black History Month celebration - 14 Oct 2015 - 'Race and achievement in Higher Education Seminar'.

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Stats and ethnicity - Dr Sean Demack, Sheffield Hallam University

  1. 1. Statistics & Ethnicity sean demack s.demack@shu.ac.uk
  2. 2. Statistics & Ethnicity • SES funded - Inequality, resilience & reform in policy & practice (Gillborn, Rollock, Warmington & Demack). • Statistics as 'Artifact' - illiteracy or conspiracy? • Coincidence or Conspiracy? - Gillborn 2008 • Williams & Husk (2013) - can we, should we, measure ethnicity? • Use of 'BME' - keeping it simple? - or a tool to hide patterns of structural racism? • Some examples...
  3. 3. 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 2011 2012 2013 All students in HE 2011 to 2013: Unpacking 'BME' ECU Equality Report 2014
  4. 4. 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 % with 1st of 2i Class Degree by ethnicity ECU Equality Report 2014
  5. 5. 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 % with 1st or 2i Class Degree by ethnicity ECU Equality Report 2014
  6. 6. White BME KS2 58% 50% KS3 48% 40% KS4 47% 48% Key Stage Attainment Y9-11 18% 18% Temporary Suspension or Permanent Exclusion from school Any Uni 37% 55% Rus Gp 9% 10% Other 28% 45% Access to University
  7. 7. White BME KS2 58% 50% KS3 48% 40% KS4 47% 48% Key Stage Attainment Y9-11 18% 18% Temporary Suspension or Permanent Exclusion from school ALL Unis 37% 55% Russ Grp 9% 10% Other 28% 45% Access to University MIN % MAX % Pakistani 36% Indian 54% Pakistani & Carib 29% Indian 51% Carib 31% Indian 60% Indian 8% Carib 34% Wh&Car 31% Indian 74% Carib 2% Indian 12% Wh&Car 27% Indian 61%
  8. 8. HESA data, ECU equality report ...patterns of marginalisation and segregation caused by an individual’s ethnicity ? ! ! . page 5 of 2014 'equality in higher education" stats report... ...notes on the BME classification ...
  9. 9. Final Points • Better to lead than to follow? – White / BME is a simplification step too far. – White / Black / Asian - similar problems. – Unpacking the 'Black African' group? • Role of Statistics? – To describe STRUCTURAL patterns... i.e. at the UK / England / Institution (SHU) / Subject Area Level(s). – To help document if and how these patterns change over time (e.g. before and after a 'policy' or 'intervention'). – To describe how ethnicity intersects with ... religion, language, gender, social class, sexuality, disability ... – BUT statistics will always fall short of being able to explain the reasons for the observed patterns .. other methods are needed... • The interplay between the structural 'clarity' that could be provided by statistics and richer qualitative detail at an individual student, class or module level is KEY.
  10. 10. Final Points • It is rational and appropriate to assume that institutional racism will be present within the English education system.... within the HE system as a whole & within individual HE institutions (Swann, 1985) & McPherson, 1999) – Change may come and it would be good to try to document it properly. – ...a more critical (and sincere) use of statistics PLUS qualitative detail at a module and individual staff / student level needs to be gathered in an active and routine way. – Teachers could be co-opted as agents for positive change rather than just being held responsible for patterns of structural racism identified through the use such a poor measure of ethnicity. • Student numbers on many modules are often too small for MEANINGFUL statistical analyses. – It is here where I think the 'BME' classification is widely used. – an uncritical, pragmatic use leading to reification (a new positivism). – ODD to be so statistically driven with such an poor measure? – Perhaps .... but this pattern is echoed across many statistics used to 'inform' about the structure of education in England ...Free School Meals / NSS / OFSTED
  11. 11. -30.0% -20.0% -10.0% 0.0% 10.0% 10/11 to 11/12 11/12 to 12/13 * 10/11 to 12/13 ECU Equality Report 2014 % Change in FIRST YEAR student numbers - 2011 to 2013

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