Posted on July 30, 2012

Ethnic Minority Pupils’ Underachievement to Be Tackled by ‘Blind Marking’ in Bid to Remove Teachers’ Prejudice

Daily Mail (London), July 30, 2012

Teachers could ‘blind mark’ pupils’ work in an attempt to raise exam scores of children from ethnic minorities.

The controversial plans are designed to reduce inequalities between races.

Under the proposals, teachers would not know the identities of pupils when marking their work.

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party and Deputy Prime Minister, is believed to be in support of the policy.

A study by education watchdog Ofsted in 1999 showed that children with African or Asian-sounding names were likely to be given lower marks of up to 12 per cent in some cases.

Statistics show that almost half of young black people and 31 per cent of young Asian people are unemployed.

It is believed Liberal Democrat communities minister, Andrew Stunell, along with Clegg, want to introduce the policies soon despite opposition from other ministers.

A senior Whitehall source told The Guardian: ‘We waited a long time to get the integration strategy out the door, but we’re now keen to get on with the job of implementing it.

‘A lot of the projects supported by the integration strategy have slipped by under most people’s radars, but Andrew is keen that we turn up the volume and speak out much more often and much louder on race issues.’

There are also proposals to ethnic monitor banks but it is feared that this could compromise people’s privacy.

Only six per cent of black Caribbean and African people are self-employed or own their own business compared with 15 per cent of white people.

The plans are expected to be published in a report by Liberal Democrat Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece later this year.