GCSE exam results for black pupils have improved at a higher rate than any other ethnic minority groups over the last two years, according to statistics released by the government today.
The Statistical First Release on National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and equivalent attainment in England for 2005 shows the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more A* to C grades at GCSE.
This year’s findings show that Black Caribbean and Black African pupils have improved by six percentage points and by five percentage points from 43.3% to 48.3% respectively since last year. Both these figures are well above the national average increase for all pupils at GCSE of 2.6 percentage points.
The gap between Black Caribbean and all pupils in the maintained sector has also narrowed by three percentage points, from 16.2 percentage points to 13.3 percentage points over the last year.
Other ethnic groups have also attained better GCSE results with Bangladeshi pupils results up by over 4 percentage points and Pakistani pupils improving by 3.2 percentage points.
Minister for schools Jacqui Smith welcomed the upward trend saying: “This is a great achievement and shows our policies to tackle under-achievement among minority ethnic groups through initiatives like Aiming High and London Challenge are boosting exam performance and helping make year-on-year improvements.
“But there is still much more to do and we need to continue to build on this progress and close the gap even further so all pupils, regardless of ethnic or cultural background, achieve their full potential.
“There is no room for complacency and last year we announced the national roll-out of the Aiming High project to raise achievement amongst Black pupils to maintain this upward trend. We also made further commitments in our White Paper to target additional support at minority ethnic pupils at risk of under-achieving,” she concluded.