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ALL ETHNIC GROUPS IMPROVE AT GCSE/GNVQ

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Pupils from every ethnic group have improved in their GCSE/GNVQ ...
Pupils from every ethnic group have improved in their GCSE/GNVQ

results, according to figures released today.

Schools minister Stephen Twigg welcomed the data, which clearly shows

how pupils are doing in all Key Stage tests and GCSEs, broken down by

ethnicity, gender, English as an additional language, special

educational needs and free school meals.

Although there has been a change in the way ethnic data has been

collected between 2002 and 2003. The data broadly shows the following

improvements with the percentage of pupils getting five or more

grades A* to C at GCSE/GNVQ:

-White - Up 1.8 percentage points to 51.3 per cent

-Black Caribbean - Up 3.7 percentage points to 32.9 per cent

-Black African - Up 3.3 percentage points to 40.7 per cent

-Indian - Up 2.6 percentage points to 65.2 per cent

-Pakistani - Up 3 percentage points to 41.5 per cent

-Bangladeshi - Up 2.2 percentage points to 45.5 per cent

-Chinese - Up 4.7 percentage points to 74.8 per cent

-National average in 2003 - 50.7 per cent

Mr Twigg said: 'I welcome the improvement these figures show. But we

must not be complacent - while some pupils from all ethnic groups

achieve at the highest level these figures show that many pupils,

particularly from African-Caribbean backgrounds are not achieving

their potential through school.

'This data shows us the scale of the challenge and that is why I am

putting closing that achievement gap at the heart of our improvement

agenda. This department has put in place a national strategy to

raise the achievement of minority ethnic pupils and we are working

hard with schools to ensure that every single pupil gets the chance

to achieve their potential.'

He added: 'It is vital that we continue to get important facts and

figures like those released today. That is the only way for us to see

exactly where our reforms are working, and where they are not

working, to make sure that no pupil slips thro ugh the net.'

Other key findings from today's research include:

-Chinese pupils are the best performing minority ethnic group in all

subjects at all levels. For example, at Key Stage 3 mathematics, 90

per cent of Chinese pupils achieved the expected level, compared to

71 per cent nationally.

-Indian pupils and pupils of mixed white and Asian heritage

consistently achieve above the national average at all levels.

-Irish pupils perform better than the national average at Key Stages

2 and 3, and at GCSE/GNVQ. For example, 60.1 per cent of Irish pupils

achieved five or more grades A* to C at GCSE/GNVQ, compared to 50.7

per cent nationally.

NOTES

This Press Notice applies to England.

1.The Statistical First Release: National Curriculum Assessment and

GCSE/GNVQ attainment by pupil characteristics, in England, 2002

(final) and 2003 (provisional) is published today and is available at

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SBU/b000402/index.shtml

2. It should be noted that new ethnic codes were introduced in 2003

and there is no absolute mapping between 2002 and 2003 ethnic data.

3. The government launched its strategy for minority ethnic education

- Aiming High - last October.

The strategy includes:

-focused work in 30 secondary schools to raise the achievement of

African-Caribbean pupils. The scheme means each school will receive a

package of support, including resources to free up a senior manager

to work on raising black achievement with advice and support from an

expert consultant. There will also be support from the National

College of School Leadership, and lessons learnt from the scheme will

be spread throughout the country;

-bringing greater transparency and accountability to this issue,

including a more robust inspection regime and publication of

achievement data by ethnic group and LEA;

-training for primary teachers through the national primary strategy

to help them better support bilingual pupils. Two regional directors

have been appointed to lead work across 21 LEAs nationwide; and

-setting up a national, consistent method of assessment to monitor

bilingual pupils' progress from foundation stage to secondary school.

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