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Black Educational Underachievement Still a Problem says London MP

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24 Nov 2009

Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott has warned against complacency in promoting educational achievement amongst black students. Her comments come following the release of new data on this summer’s GCSE results from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

According to the data, only 48% of white British boys eligible for free school meals are fully achieving in maths and English, whilst the number of black boys on free meals achieving the required grades has risen to 51.6%.

Commenting on these figures today, Diane said:

“These new figures are interesting but it is important to remember a couple of points. The difference of 3.6% between the two groups is marginal, with the difference between black Caribbean boys and white British boys being only 1.7%. These levels of achievement still fall drastically below the national average for all pupils which has risen to 71.8%.”

“Of course, the signs showing that poorer black boys are closing the gap with the national average are encouraging, but I would strongly warn against complacency with the deep rooted problem of underachievement amongst black boys. There is still work to be done to raise the achievement levels of all black students, including tackling the disproportionate numbers of black pupils being excluded from school and addressing negative school cultures.”

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