• Tikly, Leon P (Principal Investigator)
  • Hill, John (Researcher)
  • Osler, Audrey (Researcher)

Project Details


i This research reports on LEA action plans for the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) for 1998/99 and 1999/2000 and on performance data for minority ethnic groups returned by LEAs for summer 2000. The research team, led by Dr Leon Tikly at the University of Bristol and Professor Audrey Osler at the University of Leicester, in partnership with Dr John Hill, Birmingham LEA, has also produced a searchable database, capturing key data from the LEA plans.

ii The aim of the research was to identify the range and effectiveness of LEA strategies for raising the achievement of minority ethnic pupils and the relationship between these strategies and improvements in minority ethnic pupil performance.

iii Action plans from 151 LEAs were analysed.

Key findings

iv There are variations in the quality of the data from LEAs, with some providing descriptive data and others providing detailed analysis of the implications of their plans for raising achievement. Achievement data is incomplete for some LEAs and is not broken down by gender. While the plans contain the intended actions of LEAs, cause- effect relationships between these actions and any improvements in achievement cannot be derived from the plans alone without further research on the implementation of the plans in practice.

v At the end of Key Stage 2 the overall improvement rate from 1998-2000 in the proportion of pupils achieving Level 4 and above for the 81 LEAs which provided data for the three years was 11.9 percentage points in English and 14.9 percentage points in mathematics. Chinese and Indian heritage pupils are the highest achieving groups in both subjects. In both subjects rates of improvement were greater for Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils. Rates of improvement for Black Caribbean pupils are slightly lower than average in English.

vi GCSE results also show Chinese and Indian heritage pupils as the highest achieving groups, followed by White, Bangladeshi, Black African and Pakistani heritage pupils. Black Caribbean heritage pupils’ achievements were significantly lower, with 27 per cent achieving 5 or more A* - C grades in 2000 compared to an overall average of 48 per cent.

vii Overall, LEAs set challenging targets, the achievement of which would result in some narrowing of the ‘attainment gap’ for those groups currently performing less well on average than other groups.

viii It is not possible to assess the reliability of the data from the plans, but there are considerable differences in the relative achievement of each ethnic group across LEAs. For example, Black Caribbean heritage pupils achieving 5 or more A* - C grades ranges between 16 per cent and 59 per cent, depending on the LEA.

ix Overall Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black Caribbean heritage pupils are achieving on average below the level of other groups. However, there is some evidence to suggest that Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage pupils are improving at higher rates, leading to a narrowing of the gap.
x Among those LEAs that were most successful in raising the achievement of the groups most at risk of underachieving (Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani heritage learners) the most common strategies were: supporting schools to review their performance, set targets and monitor achievement; and collating and disseminating good practice. Such LEAs were particularly concerned with improving the school management practices for supporting minority ethnic learners.

xi In addition, LEAs who were successful in raising Black Caribbean learners’ attainment focused on pupils’ attendance, supporting supplementary schools and providing mentoring support for pupils, particularly at GCSE. They also had a broader range of strategies for liaising with minority organisations and parents.

xii LEAs who were most successful in raising the achievement of EAL learners also placed considerable emphasis on mainstream classroom support including bilingual support, at Key Stage 2. They also targeted their efforts at newly arrived learners at GCSE and gave particular attention to meeting the needs of EAL learners with special educational needs.

xiii The report highlights the strategies adopted by those authorities that have managed to raise the achievement of minority ethnic pupils at an above-average rate. In these authorities a greater proportion of EMAG was devolved to schools, but as these were authorities with significant minority ethnic school populations the size of the grant meant they were also able to achieve economies of scale in the provision of centralised support.

xiv Successful authorities were also likely to make use of EMAG for advisory and administrative posts for monitoring and co-ordination.

xv Successful authorities were more likely to report using LEA data analysis as a means of monitoring minority ethnic group performance and supporting schools in the use of these data to set challenging targets. They placed more emphasis on training and support in relation to EMAG and on central financial monitoring of its use.

Effective start/end date1/04/011/04/02

Structured keywords

  • PolicyBristolEducation
  • Ethnicity
  • Achievement


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