The educational attainment of over 2000 children aged 7-15 years from six different ethnic groups was assessed. Children of Pakistani and of Bangladeshi origin tended to obtain the lowest mean scores on all tests, often well below those of West Indian children, who tended to perform as well as Indian children and often no worse than the indigenous majority. There were few signs of any reliable trends over age. Differences were more pronounced on tests of reading and vocabulary than on tests of mathematics but, on tests of non-verbal reasoning, most ethnic minorities also obtained low scores. Many of these differences were associated with differences in social and family circumstances.