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Open Access Raising the Achievement of Caribbean Pupils in British Schools: unacknowledged problems and challenges for policy makers

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Over the last decade the underperforming groups issues that have shaped thinking practice in schools have changed significantly. Today, a high level of education is no longer a luxury for some groups or social classes, but a necessity for every one in British society. Yet Black Caribbean heritage pupils' achievements lag far behind the average achievement of the majority of their peers and the gap is growing at the end of primary and secondary education. Despite much academic debate and policy makers' concern about underachievement in schools, the needs of Black Caribbean pupils have not been addressed in the education system and have been largely neglected. This research paper examines critically the national policy agenda, the extent of and reasons for underachievement of pupils of Black Caribbean heritage throughout each key stage in an inner city LEA. Statistical trends and patterns of performance are analysed by ethnic factors to illustrate differences in attainment. The paper questions the current national policy agenda for improving achievement for all pupils, and argues critically that the issues surrounding Black Caribbean pupils' underachievement are real and should not be underestimated in national policy formulation. Policy implications for government and for all concerned with school improvement are highlighted, as well as many practical suggestions.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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