Ethnic diversity is the reason behind the high GCSE success rates achieved in London, a new report claims.
The study, by Professor Simon Burgess at the University of Bristol's Centre for Market and Public Organisation, states that ethnic minority pupils have greater ambition and aspiration, and thus work harder in school.
As the capital contains a greater proportion of such pupils, its average GCSE scores are higher than those in the rest of the country.
It states that the children of recent immigrants tend to have higher hopes and aspirations of education and are, on average, more likely to be engaged with school work.
The researchers measured each student's GCSE points score across their eight best subjects, with an A* worth eight points, an A seven and so on, to one point for a G.
They compared these with the youngsters' prior performance at primary school, in the Key Stage 2 tests at age 11 in English, Maths and Science.
Pupils in London schools were found to score about eight GCSE grade points higher than those in the rest of England, relative to their attainment at age 11. This is the equivalent of achieving eight Cs rather than eight Ds, or eight As rather than eight Bs.
However, once ethnic composition was taken into account in the study, the London Effect in pupil progress disappeared.
White British pupils achieve the lowest GCSE scores relative to their attainment at age 11. In London, this group forms just 34 per cent of year 11 pupils, while in the rest of England the figure is 84 per cent.
Professor Burgess said: "We know that ethnic minority pupils score more highly in GCSEs relative to their prior attainment than white British pupils. London simply has a lot more of these high-achieving pupils and so has a higher average GCSE score than the rest of the country."
A London effect was said to be evident since 2004 and was accounted for by ethnic composition in each year.
Posted by Theo Foulds