Minority Ethnic Pupils and Excellence in Cities: Final Report

Lesley Kendall, Simon Rutt, Ian Schagen

23 November 2005

In 2004, 17 per cent of pupils in maintained schools in England were classified as belonging to a minority ethnic group, and since 1997 the proportion of such pupils within the school population has increased substantially. There is considerable regional variation in the overall proportions of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds. For example, in inner London, almost three quarters of pupils are from such backgrounds, whereas the corresponding figure for the North East is less than five per cent. Overall, pupils from minority ethnic groups are more likely to live in low income households than those from White UK backgrounds. There are also substantial differences between different minority ethnic groups. For example, almost two thirds of Pakistani/Bangladeshi households, and about a quarter of Black households, are classified as low income. There are also differences in levels of attainment, with pupils from Indian and Chinese backgrounds generally having relatively high levels of attainment while those from Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds achieve below the national average.

The Excellence in Cities (EiC) policy was launched in 1999 with the aim of improving the attainment of all pupils in urban areas, by providing targeted support and by encouraging and promoting collaboration between schools. Further Phases were launched in 2000 and 2001, by when EiC covered about a third of the secondary schools in England and over 60 per cent of the minority ethnic pupils in England attended schools in EiC areas. This report considers the background characteristics and attainment of minority ethnic pupils attending secondary schools in EiC areas, and then examines the impact of EiC on these pupils. Two specific Strands of EiC, the Gifted and Talented Strand which provides support for the most able five to ten per cent of pupils in each school, and the Learning Mentor Strand, providing support for pupils facing barriers to learning, are also examined.

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