Although I know other countries have had to come to grips with racial categorizing of children. This BBC doc carefully describes the problem and what the parents did to remedy it, although I think some of this info is well known by now (I didn't know about the racial policy, though). It's well known now that the IQ tests we were given, also in the US, from the 50s to probably the 80s, included elements that would be regarded as achievement tests and also relying on the child's background and language, i.e., their parents' educational level. sociology-economic class, parents' involvement in their children's early learning, etc. But it's good to know that it was a policy of the British government, which codified it to an even higher degree. So of course they often favored middle class and higher kids. However, I experienced, and saw other white kids, usually rural or in poverty, with the same problems who were usually considered "slow", as a group. The same could be said of immigrants, whether from Europe or developing countries.
I was fortunate to meet a teacher at church, when I was in high school, who took me, for a day, to his "Black" high school on the other side of town. He taught me about family educational "background" and the effect it had upon learning and it showed me how much my much high tax base school was superior to his poverty tax based school (less equipment, low maintenance, crumbling, old texts, etc). It was a lesson I've never forgotten and bless that man for making one kid at a time aware of these differences. I had no other way to know these things, as my city was completely segregated. Not just Jim Crow, but people of color didn't even cross the tracks. So I had never met a person of color and was told that they were just "like that" because they were inferior. My school was in an "independent" school district, thus avoided integration for decades, as it those districts were designed to do back then.
I'm not an immigrant, but I know many of us have had the unpleasant experience of moving schools and going to one more advanced than the previous school and being very behind. My worst experience was mid-year of 3rd grade. My new teacher completely bullied me, intentionally mis-pronouncing my name the rest of the year and calling me out in class constantly for being "dumb". She had a "dog house" on the wall and kids names with the worst grades would get put into it. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in it and I have felt the lack of confidence caused by the teacher's daily ridicule all my adult life. Luckily, I had parents who fought for me and worked with me every night and provided me with an enriched environment of science books, educational toys, etc. But what if they had been poor, and/or uneducated? Too exhausted from manual labor to fight with the teacher and school system? No money for books or educational toys, or perhaps not having the background to even realize I needed them? My grandfather had only a 3rd grade education, so I know he would have just given me the belt if I had been his kid, and please don't bother him after a hard day of work at the machine shop and why would I need special toys?
I had my own unpleasant brush with special ed. I missed a lot of school, due to illness, in 1st and 2nd grade, so of course my reading skills were behind, even though I was relatively bright. By the 6th grade, they put me "remedial reading", with the developmentally disabled and kids with "behavioral" problems (before dyslexia was a diagnosed). It was crushing. But, luckily, it brought me up to speed and next semester I was put into an honors reading class. So I was basically very good at reading, just wasn't up to my grade level, as I missed a lot of those crucial classes.
As bad as those experiences were, at least I wasn't pigeonholed in them forever, and due to the privilege of color, economic and social class, was able to easily move up and out of those situations to success. Classroom placement and level was completely based on those IQ tests, and as such, a class system of IQ was born. I honestly don't remember taking the IQ test and was young enough that I was probably thinking of going home to play and didn't take it seriously, plus I couldn't yet read well. I didn't know it would direct the rest of my secondary education (and thus quality/difficulty of education and self-image)! And this is exactly the problem outlined in this doc.
Anything that ranks us without frequent re-assessment (or by our skin color, culture, language) is just a class system, and a system of superiority much like the British class system, with no mobility out. So it makes sense that Black immigrants were pigeonholed in the UK as shown here. The legacy of colonialism and racial superiority. At least in the US, we were taught about upward mobility, and allowed to dream high. Well, if white, anyway. I lived in the UK in the 70s and got to know some kids from the "bad" side of town. It was so sad that they had no hope for the future, no way to go to college, and no desire, as why desire something you can't have? They were taught that it was morally bad to try and exceed your class of birth. "Who do you think you are?" And told that by your family, as it was burned into the generations and neighborhoods. But they were white, so imagine how much worse for Black kids? The legacy of African and Indian colonization and that Black people were below the British was very strong (and still is, I think). As strong as the legacy of slavery and our current views toward immigration in the US.
This is long because I wanted to counter the 1*, racist reviews here with some examples. I say racist, because they are and the ones so far are not about the quality of the doc, but their racial anger. Blaming the state of the educational system on people of color is such a bad meme used for so long. But there are actual reasons based in reality having nothing to do with integrated schools. If you sit around and complain, flee to charter schools, private schools, or home school your kids in protest, you've done nothing to change anything and root out the problems, thus you become the problem. If you don't support higher teacher pay, conditions, and school budgets, then you are part of the problem. I guess it's easier to sit back and blame skin color and other cultures than to actually do something. Giving everyone opportunity would make our country wealthier and even makes white lives better. Discrimination and racism hurts everyone, not just people of color. There's enough for us all. The outdated idea that immigrants take something from us and that there's a finite amount of success hasn't been true since we lived in caves.