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ATTITUDINAL RESEARCH: PAKISTANI BOYS IN BOLTON’S SCHOOLS BOB HINDLE SENIOR COLLEGE MANAGER BOLTON SIXTH FORM COLLEGE Contents Rationale for the study Research method Student experiences of school/college Performance at GCSE Home environment Outside influences Self-identity

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attitudinal research pakistani boys in bolton s schools

ATTITUDINAL RESEARCH: PAKISTANI BOYS IN BOLTON’S SCHOOLS

BOB HINDLE

SENIOR COLLEGE MANAGER

BOLTON SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

contents
Contents
  • Rationale for the study
  • Research method
  • Student experiences of school/college
  • Performance at GCSE
  • Home environment
  • Outside influences
  • Self-identity
  • Staff questionnaire
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
rationale for the study
Rationale for the study
  • Issues arising from the 2002/03 Excellence Fellowship with Manchester University
  • Over-representation of Pakistani males in school exclusions and the College discipline system
  • Most commonly for fighting but also for poor attendance and a failure to meet deadlines
  • To interview students and College staff to find possible explanations
rationale for the study cont
Rationale for the study (cont.)
  • Experiences in other towns and cities: Ouseley Report and Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia
  • “self-contained communities…with close links to Pakistan” [Ouseley]
  • Gang culture and inter-ethnic violence
  • Disaffection and poor job prospects
research method
Research Method
  • Conducted with 36 students (9 groups in total)
  • At BSFC North and South, Hayward, Smithills and The Deane
  • Former students of these schools plus Little Lever, Harper Green and St James
  • Focused questionnaire with interviews recorded.
experience at school and college
Experience at school and College
  • 25% of interviewees had been in trouble at school for fighting
  • Periods of inter-ethnic and inter-school conflict in schools
  • Provocation, peer pressure, and identity as Pakistanis explained as possible reasons
  • College environment is stricter than that at school, where ‘second chance’ often given
  • Homework inconsistently set at school and at College, inconsistently followed up if not handed in
  • Vocational courses and deadlines- Applied GCSE and 14-19?
experience at school and college9
Experience at school and College

“If you do something about it, they won’t do it again”

“fighting Indian boys, every day”

possible explanations for poor performance at gcse
Possible explanations for poor performance at GCSE
  • Students blamed themselves for poor performance at GCSE, but they believed other factors had affected this:
  • Parents knew little about the workings of the education system

“They don’t know the language, they don’t know how to get a job. They know how to drive”

  • Letters from school and college are intercepted
  • Term-time holidays to Pakistan, notably in years 9 and 10
home environment
Home environment
  • Fathers were often taxi drivers or market traders, few in higher social classes
  • After school curfews imposed but often not enforced
  • Students noted key differences in the cultural systems of support for education between Indian and Pakistani families
  • “My mum and dad never asked me about my homework or what I did that day at school or College”, former BSFC student
outside influences
Outside influences
  • Some participation in football, cricket and snooker/pool but a general lack of things to do: “Sit at home, watch tv, drive around”
  • Criticism of heavy handed policing around Great Lever. Opposite at North Campus!
  • Students well-versed in BBC Documentary The Secret Policeman

“It’s just like that programme, they only pick on Asians” ,“They always send an Asian police officer”

self identity
Self-identity
  • Most described themselves as practising Muslims, though commitment varied
  • Some admitted to having girlfriends but also to use of alcohol and soft drugs
  • Perception that use of drugs and alcohol is increasing
  • All described themselves as feeling British by birth, Pakistani by culture. Proud of British opportunities but emotionally linked to Pakistan
  • Superficial friendships with non-Muslims, notably white students
self identity cont
Self-identity (cont)

“We go to cricket matches and support Pakistan cos we’re proud of it. Doesn’t mean we’re not British. Born British, just proud of where our family’s from”

“I am a stronger believer [in Islam] but don’t practice it when I should”

staff questionnaire
Staff questionnaire
  • Questionnaire completed to try to identify whether there is any conscious discrimination between Indian and Pakistani pupils re the College discipline system
  • 16 names and 16 faces: staff had to identify which were Muslim/Hindu and Indian/Pakistani
  • Modal score 20, range from 1-27, higher score obtained by staff who had been at the College for a longer period
  • Little evidence of overt discrimination. Indirect discrimination in terms of organisational expectations?
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Key difference between school and College in response to poor behaviour
  • Differences in course requirements between school and College
  • Parental knowledge of the education system and term-time holidays: parallel lives
  • Identity as Pakistanis and peer pressure (College as a cause?)
  • Cultural differences
recommendations
Recommendations

For BSFC:

  • Student expectations to be a feature of assembly talks and enrolment/induction
  • Reform to current discipline system (LSDA Project)
  • Mentor programme
  • Attempt to liase with parents to help inform them of the UK education system, e.g requirements and pathways to university
  • Follow up comments about quality of teaching in some subjects
  • Consider issues arising from the number of Pakistani male students on one Campus
recommendations cont
Recommendations (cont)

Secondary Schools

  • Investigate comments about setting of homework and systems for non-completion
  • Strategies to create links with parents
  • Follow up comments about inter-ethnic conflict in school
  • Reflect on admissions criteria
recommendations cont19
Recommendations (cont.)

GM Police:

  • Further investigate comments about policing in the Great Lever area

Bolton Council and community groups:

  • Help to support schools re parental knowledge of the education system
  • Strategies to support parents in dealing with poor behaviour
recommendations cont20
Recommendations (cont)
  • Parents and the wider community
  • Consider the comments of students, notably over the intercepting of post from school and College
  • Work with schools and Colleges to gain a better understanding of the system
  • Consider implications of the culture and generation clash
  • Consider parenting strategies to raise self-discipline amongst young people
follow up work to date
Follow-up work to date
  • LSDA Action Research project
  • Special parents evening
  • Follow-up telephone survey
  • Mentor scheme
  • Systems for collecting student reviews
  • Contacting home via telephone- use of interpreters
  • Taking a horse to water...