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Black Pupils Achievement Programme
Meanwhile, a scheme to boost achievement among Black pupils has been introduced in 84 schools in 20 local authorities. The Black Pupils’ Achievement Programme aims to increase success among Black pupils through a tailored leadership and management strategy that seeks to boost effective teaching and learning, tackle poor behaviour and bullying, introduce mentoring and increase the involvement of parents. Each school appoints a member of the senior leadership team to draw up an action plan to drive forward these changes. The programme follows the success of the African-Caribbean Achievement Project, piloted in 30 schools across England.
The Schools Minister, Andrew Adonis, said: “The underachievement of Black pupils, and boys in particular, is a serious issue for this Government and one on which we are focusing our attention and resources. As a result, we are already seeing some improvements. In 2004, Black pupils achieved the greatest rate of improvement in GCSEs. Black Caribbean pupils’ 5 A*-C pass rate went up by 2.8 percentage points, to 35.7 per cent, and that for Black African pupils rose by 2.6 percentage points, to 43.3 per cent, against a national average increase of 1.2 percentage points, to 51.9 per cent, for all pupils.”
“These results show that Black pupils are now closing the attainment gap and our strategies are delivering year-on-year improvements. But the gap is still far too wide. This programme is only one part of the Government’s commitment to improving attainment to make sure that all pupils reach their full potential. The experience of these pilots has shown that the project has been effective in providing examples of good practice that can be used in other schools. I am pleased that, across the 30 pilot schools, a host of ideas to get parents and the local community involved has been developed.”