The article ‘Making sense of white working class underachievement’ by Diane Raey (2009) In the K. P. Sveimsson (ed) Who Cares about the White Working Class? , Published by The Runnymeade Trust, is important in indicating the weaknesses of the education system in the United Kingdom today. According to this article, the White working class children do not perform well in academic performance. This issue is the centre stage for a tug of war among the parents, teachers, the government and the wealthy and middle class people within this jurisdiction. As it emerges, the issue is more complex than it seems and includes historical perspectives, the perceptions towards the white working class and other minorities and the education policy in the respective schools and United Kingdom in general.
Diane Raey points out the poor are always marginalized generation after generation. She provides an example of the early times when the poor did not even have access to education. Education was for the rulers and the prestigious in the society. The people of the time believed there was no need for the poor to study as they could not help the society in any way and if they did, they could not serve the prestigious, as expected. These societal perceptions date back to the times of Ancient Greece and Sparta.
These perceptions have trickled down to the modern day society. As stated in the article, the middle class and the wealthy disregard the working class, which are also categorized in the poor category. In this case, they do not want anything to do with them. In fact, they believe the working class are not only poor but also unmotivated and undetermined. The Middle class believ...
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...] Available at:
Perry, E and Francis, B., 2010. The social class gap for educational achievement: a review of the literature. [online] RSA projects. Available at:
Sparkes J., 1999. Schools, Education and Social Exclusion. [online] Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6482/1/Schools,_Education_and_Social_Exclusion.pdf [accessed 12 January 2014].
United Kingdom National Union of Teachers, n.d. Opening Locked Doors: Education achievement and white working class young people. [online] National Union of Teachers. Available at:
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