Despite falling behind in tests at five, children from ethnic minorities are now overtaking or matching white British pupils at 16, says a report in the Economic Journal.
Researchers from University College London, who conducted the study, found that whilst many children from ethnic groups struggle when they first start school, as soon as their language skills improve, they catch up with or overtake their white British peers.
The study also found that school league tables could play a part in encouraging teachers to pay greater attention to pupils from black and Asian backgrounds, and that peer pressure could influence how well different groups apply themselves to their studies.
'We don't really understand the dynamics of peer groups within a school, and how within a school individuals sort into different groups,' he said.
What do you think?
Have you noticed peer pressure having a positive or detrimental effect in the classroom?