The ethnic minority achievement grant: a critical analysis

LP Tikly, A Osler, J Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This article critically analyses the extent to which the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) has been successful in meeting its core objective of raising the achievement of minority ethnic groups who are at risk of underachieving. The article provides an historical analysis of the Grant, sets the Grant within the context of the Labour government's policies relating to minority ethnic groups and social inclusion and reports on the authors' research into the use made by Local Education Authorities (LEAs) of EMAG based on an analysis of LEA EMAG action plans. It suggests that although there have been some improvements in closing the gaps between minority ethnic achievement and national averages since the introduction of the Grant, these have been largely limited to groups receiving English as an Additional Language (EAL) support, although these groups continue to underachieve. Further the relative achievement of some groups, notably Black Caribbean pupils, has not improved at all since the introduction of the Grant. The article proposes that if the government wishes to more effectively tackle minority ethnic underachievement then it needs to increase the overall amount spent on the Grant, which has been frozen in recent years, and demonstrate more commitment to tackling institutionalized racism within the education system and the national curriculum. Although the government is issuing guidance to schools to address historic weaknesses in the way that the Grant has been deployed, the guidance itself does not go far enough in acknowledging the role of schools and particularly LEAs in tackling underachievement. Nor does the proposed new guidance recognize the importance of including the perspectives of local Black and Asian communities in decisions on how the Grant is deployed.
Translated title of the contributionThe ethnic minority achievement grant: a critical analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283 - 312
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Volume20 (3)
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Routledge


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