The one-in-ten: quantitative critical race theory and the education of the ‘new (white) oppressed’

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This paper challenges the notion that quantitative data – as a numeric truth - exist independent of a nation’s political and racial landscape. Utilising large-scale national attainment data, the analysis challenges the belief that ‘White working class’ children in England, especially boys, are ‘the new oppressed’ – as a former equality adviser has publicly claimed. The analysis applies Quantitative Critical Race Theory, or ‘QuantCrit’, an emerging quantitative sub-field of Critical Race Theory in education. The paper argues that far from being ‘oppressed’, White boys continue to enjoy achievement advantages over numerous minoritised groups; especially their peers of Black Caribbean ethnic origin. Additionally, the analysis uniquely exposes racialised trends of ‘equivalency’ in core subject qualifications, whereby minority ethnic children are over-represented in certain lower-status qualifications that are counted as equivalent in education statistics but not in the real world labour market. The analysis concludes that knowing misrepresentations of quantitative data are at the heart of an institutional process through which race and racism are produced, legitimised and perpetuated in education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423–444
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2018


  • Critical Race Theory
  • quantitative research methods
  • White working class
  • achievement gap
  • education policy
  • racism
  • QuantCrit


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