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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 14:21 GMT
Ethnic minorities improve at GCSE
Girls getting GCSE results in 2004
The overall GCSE pass rate rose last year
Asian and black pupils made the greatest rate of improvement in GCSEs in England last year.

The proportion of black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils getting five or more good GCSEs or equivalent qualifications rose more than 2.5 percentage points.

Schools Minister Derek Twigg said it was encouraging that the performance gap was closing.

Pakistani pupils improved most, with 45.% getting five A* to C grades or equivalent - up 3.7 percentage points.

Varied performances

Some minority ethnic groups are still achieving well below the average, however.

Last year, an improvement of 2.6 percentage points among Black Caribbean pupils, took the proportion getting five good GCSEs or equivalent to just 35.7%.

Black African children improved by 2.6 points, up to 43.3%.

Children of Indian and Chinese descent continue to perform above the national average.

Among Indian pupils the proportion getting the highest GCSE scores rose 1.4 percentage points, to 66.6%.

Children from Chinese backgrounds continue to out-perform those from other ethnic groups, even though there was a slight fall in the proportion achieving top grades last year.

A decline of 0.6 points, brought the total to 74.2% of children.

Schools minister Derek Twigg said: "These are positive results and a tribute to all the hard work of teachers, pupils and parents. It also shows that our strategies to tackle minority ethnic under-achievement are working.

"But there must be no room for complacency and we must maintain this upward trend, so that the gap is closed even further and that all pupils regardless of their ethnic or cultural background fulfil their full potential."

White pupils scored slightly higher than average - 52.3% achieving at least five grade Cs or better at GCSE, the government figures showed.


SEE ALSO:
Black girls overtake white boys
24 Feb 04 |  Education
Call to end educational 'racism'
06 Feb 04 |  Education
Secrets of school success
04 Mar 03 |  Education
Top grades rising again for GCSEs
26 Aug 04 |  Education


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