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Wednesday, December 9, 1998 Published at 17:02 GMT


Schools told to do more for black pupils

Schools need strategies to support black pupils

Schools must do more to help black pupils, says the Schools Minister Charles Clarke.

Responding to a report identifying ways in which schools can overcome underachievement among black pupils, Charles Clarke said that it was "vital that pupils from ethnic minorities have the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else".

[ image: A report calls for better dialogue between pupils and teachers]
A report calls for better dialogue between pupils and teachers
The report, published by the Runnymede Trust and Nottingham Trent University, calls for an "improved dialogue" between teachers and black pupils and closer monitoring of the level of achievement of black pupils.

There is also a need for a "whole-school approach" to improving the performance of black pupils, the report says, which would make an awareness of the needs of ethnic minority pupils an integral part of school policy.

The report - Improving Practice: A Whole School Approach to Raising the Achievement of African Caribbean Youth - is the result of two years research in schools in London and the West Midlands.

Mr Clarke, speaking at the launch of the report in Stockwell in south London, said: "Children from ethnic-minorities are a vibrant part of the richly diverse, multi-cultural society in which we live.

"Many Asian children achieve very good results - better than average. It is regrettable therefore that some ethnic minority pupils are under-achieving."

The minister said that raising the achievement of black pupils would be helped by last month's announcement of the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant - a £430m fund for projects tackling the underperformance of black pupils.

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