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GOVERNMENT TO BOOST MINORITY ETHNIC ACHIEVEMENT

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Schools minister Stephen Twigg has outlined the government's plans for raising the academic achievement of minority...
Schools minister Stephen Twigg has outlined the government's plans for raising the academic achievement of minority ethnic pupils in our schools.

The aiming high national strategy will see a concerted effort to lift the achievement of underachieving minority ethnic pupils, putting the issue at the heart of the government's improvement agenda.

It includes a scheme set up specifically to raise standards for black pupils - one of the lowest performing groups in the country.

The strategy includes:

- focused work in 30 secondary schools to raise the achievement of black 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 nation wide; and

- setting up a national, consistent method of assessment to monitor bilingual pupils' progress from foundation stage to secondary school.

Mr Twigg said: 'Every child matters, whatever their background. But the truth is that some ethnic children have been underachieving for too long.

'We have consulted widely, listened to what people have to say on this issue, and developed a clear, strategic approach backed up by extra resources.

'We are making sure that support is given exactly where it is needed so that our work to raise standards in schools benefits all pupils, whatever their background, location or school.'

The aiming high strategy will be backed up by extra investment, which will be set out shortly after the government's general funding plans, which will be announced in due course.

NOTES

Stephen Twigg visited Leytonstone school in London, one of the schools taking part in the African Caribbean pilot scheme.

Aiming high will mean a better education for the country's 960,000 minority ethnic pupils, with a focus on school leadership and more professional recognition for teachers of pupils who speak English as an additional language.

Aiming high follows the most thorough consultation on minority ethnic education ever undertaken. The government launched the consultation document 'Aiming High: Raising the Achievement of Minority Ethnic Pupils' on March 4, 2003. The consultation lasted three months.

The consultation document marked the first time the government published figures on GCSEs for each ethnic group, which it will now do annually.

About 70% of all Black Caribbean pupils in the country go to school in London.

In 2002, only 30% of all Black pupils got five or more good GCSEs (grades A* to C), compared to a national average of 51%.

Black pupils are around three times more likely than white pupils to be excluded from school.

A separate pilot scheme is benefiting schools in three London boroughs, using academic tutors to work specifically with black boys to engage them in education and raise standards.

Thirty schools taking part in the national pilot scheme to raise the achievement of African Caribbean pupils

The following schools are piloting new ways to raise the achievement of African Caribbean pupils - one of the lowest performing groups in the country.

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. They will also get written guidance on the best ways to raise black achievement, and support from the National College of School Leadership. Lessons learnt from the pilot scheme will be spread throughout the country.

LEA School No. of black pupils

LONDON

Barnet Bishop Douglas 63

Barnet Christchurch 54

Brent Copland 95

Brent Queen's Park 69

Croydon Hayling Manor 59

EalingDrayton Manor 33

Enfield Enfield County 34

Hackney Stoke Newington School 34

Haringey Northumberland Park 70

Kensington and Chelsea Holland Park School 38

Lambeth Charles Edward Brooke 107

Lambeth Bishop Thomas Grant 83

Lewisham Northbrook 38

Lewisham St Joseph's Academy 75

Southwark Archbishop Michael Ramsey 122

Wandsworth Chestnut Grove School 48

Westminster Westminster City School 38

Waltham Forest Leytonstone School 45

MIDLANDS

Birmingham Lordswood Girls 23

Birmingham Perry Barr 27

Wolverhampton Wednesfield 26

Wolverhampton Aldersley 19

NORTH

Manchester Trinity School 69

Manchester Oakwood High 43

Liverpool Childwall School 23

Sheffield Abbeydale School 30

Leeds Roundhay School 18

SOUTH WEST

Bristol Fairfield School 17

Bristol Whitefield Fishpond 24

Bristol St Thomas More 27

LEAs for National Primary Strategy English as an Additional Language (EAL) pilot.

The following LEAs are taking part in the national pilot scheme leading the way on giving more help and support to bilingual pupils in primary schools. Teachers throughout each LEA will get training and materials to help better support bilingual pupils, and schools will get guidance from expert consultants and one of two regional directors.

North Lancashire

Bradford

Kirklees

Newcastle

Manchester

Central Luton

Bristol

Sandwell

Birmingham

Hertfordshire

Leicester City

South East Slough

Surrey

London Outer Ealing

Brent

Redbridge

London Inner Hackney

Haringey

Lambeth

Newham

Tower Hamlets

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