Afro-Caribbean Pupils

Education and Skills written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills

(1) what steps the Government have taken to improve the performance of Afro-Caribbean boys at schools;

(2) what assessment she has made of the performance of Afro-Caribbean boys against the national average performance for each age group.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Schools), Department for Education and Skills

This Government are fully committed to improving the performance of African-Caribbean boys in our schools and narrowing achievement gaps for all underachieving minority ethnic pupils.

Following the Aiming High: Raising the Achievement of Minority Ethnic Pupils consultation, the Government announced a national strategy in November 2003. The strategy aims to: focus mainstream school improvement programmes and targeted activity on identifying and addressing underachievement; increasing accountability, including through the publication of achievement data; and supporting the school workforce to be able to meet the needs of minority ethnic pupils more effectively.

The strategy included a pilot national project focused on raising the achievement of African-Caribbean young people, and boys in particular. This project was developed following detailed assessment of performance data for African-Caribbean pupils. The experience of delivering this project is currently informing the roll out of a national programme to support black pupils in all our schools across both primary and secondary education.

More widely my officials routinely use data, including ethnicity data, to support the development of policy and initiatives. In order to ensure that parents and other interested parties are kept informed of our progress in narrowing achievement gaps, my Department publishes the ethnicity performance data on an annual basis. The latest data is available at and analysis of the 2003 data at _sfr_text_Finished3.pdf

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