AFRICANGLOBE – Black pupils are making faster improvements at Britain’s General Certificate of Secondary Examination (GCSE) than any other ethnic group, recently published figures have revealed.
Historically, children of African and Caribbean backgrounds have lagged behind their White, Asian and Chinese peers.
But the latest GCSE figures, published last Thursday, show there is reason to celebrate as they continue to narrow the attainment gap.
In 2012/2013, 58 per cent of all Black Year 11s achieved five or more A* – C grades at GCSE including Maths and English. This is a 14 per cent increase over the past five years.
However, with a 61.2 per cent pass rate, teenagers of African backgrounds are now significantly outperforming their Caribbean peers (53.3 per cent), as well as White British children (60.5 per cent).
Former teacher Dr Tony Sewell, a well-known education and social commentator, believed the figures counterbalanced the ‘racism argument’, which is often used as an attempt to explain why Black children were under-performing.
Having founded Generating Genius, a charity to support and mentor high-achieving students from disadvantaged communities, Sewell said: “[Racism in schools] is an idea of the past as White British children are not performing as well as African kids though they are going to the same schools and being taught by the same teachers.”
Sewell explained that “parental engagement or encouragement” could be the reason why African children were doing better than other groups.
He suggested Caribbean parents look to their African counterparts for inspiration.
Another factor was that they were able to “deal with the negative pressures” that surrounded them, he said.
“There needs to be a further push with Caribbean pupils and more avenues for groups to flourish.
“There might be a need to concentrate more on the groups who are doing well from an early age and continue to encourage them all the way through.”
Sewell added: “Teachers should ensure kids are getting their predicted grades and monitor them closely from the age of 11 to when they are taking their GCSEs to guarantee they are achieving their potential.”
By: Mary Isokariari
Britain’s Smartest Child Adam Kirby