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UK schools are 'socially segregated'

Research has revealed that the UK's school system is socially segregated, with immigrant children clustered in disadvantaged schools.

The research says that the socio-economic make-up of the UK's schools poses "significant challenges" for immigrant students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Some 80% of UK students with an immigrant background attend schools with a high concentration of immigrant students, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) latest edition of Education at a Glance.

It also reveals that 79.8% of immigrant students with low-educated mothers (who do not have qualifications beyond GCSE level) are in disadvantaged schools. This is a higher proportion than any other OECD country, and greater than the OECD's average of 55.9%.

All of the figures relate to 2009.

The report did find that the UK does better than many other countries in helping to improve people's life chances.
The study also reveals that the UK saw the steepest increase in spending on higher education in 2009, with most of this money coming from private sources such as tuition fees.

And it found that students study for long hours. Pupils in England receive on average 7,258 hours of lesson time between the ages of seven and 14, compared with the OECD average of 6,862. Virtually all of this time is compulsory.

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