chapter  7
28 Pages

Political Integration in Darwin School

This final empirical chapter analyses the responses of ethnic majority and Turkish minority youth in Darwin, a school located in a predominantly middle-class area in the same London borough as Millroad School. Darwin School interpreted and acted on the national privileging of Britishness over and above multicultural and European agendas in different ways. Unlike Millroad, Darwin is one of the highest-performing comprehensive schools in London in terms of GCSE results (71 per cent of five or more A* to C in the General Certificate of Secondary Education annual examinations). This predominantly middle-class school strongly emphasizes academic performance. Just 27 per cent of Darwin’s students are from ethnic minority backgrounds, with Turkish and Turkish Cypriot students making up just 2 per cent of the student population (33 students). The school celebrated commonalty rather than cultural and ethnic difference. In this liberal and inclusive environment, Turkish youth could relate better to their ethnic majority peers. Social class became one of the unifying factors, giving students an advantaged position within the British society.