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UK Educational Reform: The Impact on Black & Ethnic Student’s Achievement

Black & Ethnic News

UK Educational Reform: The Impact on Black & Ethnic Student’s Achievement

Summer 2017 CTM  reported on how educational reform  across the UK could impact on Black and Ethnic student’s achievement, also the need for diversity within the system for the greater good of the Black and Ethnic community. Currently across the UK students are knuckling down once again, in preparation for their August examinations. It may seem early six months away, however, teachers around the world are under significant pressure for results. The UK is no exception, and probably have one of the most pressured demographic of teachers for results, due to the UK Government’s demands.  Following on from summer 2017 it appears there is much to celebrate, rather than feel doubtful about.  It has been well documented that academic achievement within the Black and Ethnic community has been stagnate for many years, several arguments have been made for this trend. The recent educational system changes left the community with questions regarding how the changes would impact on students, and how fair the changes are considering the recent trends.

As words of encouragement to the community at this time of the academic year, it’s important to note all that has been achieved last summer, during a difficult transition period in education and the overall gloomy statistics of achievement in the past for the community.

Celebrate Achievement of Black and Ethnic Students in Core Subjects English, English lit and maths:

With the new top grade 9 (A**) introduced in core subjects English, English literature and maths 3.2% of students were allocated the top grade in literature 2.2% in English and 3.5 % in maths in August 2017. A fantastic achievement for British students overall.  Key results within the Black and Ethnic community to celebrate, be encouraged and motivated by in preparation for 2018’s examination period show that there has been an increase in the community’s sixteen year olds achieving the new grade four (formally C grade) or above in English and maths. Well done! The significant changes last year, mean tougher questions, more exams and less coursework. There is now no room for students to ‘coast.’

  • 59.8 % of Black students with a Caribbean descent achieved a grade four or above (A- C) in 2017. Up from 51.2 % in 2016.
  • 64.4 % of Black students with an African descent achieved a grade four or above (A-C) in 2017. Up from 63.4 % in 2016.
  • Every Asian Indian ethnic group recorded (Pakistani, Bengali, Indian), had an increase in the percent of students who achieved a grade four above (A-C), between 2016 and 2017.
  • Asian Chinese students also had an increase in those overall achieving grade four or above (A-C) between 2016 and 2017.
  • Students with SEN (special educational needs) had an increase from 24.2% to 25% achieving grade four or above (A- C).
  • Sadly, within the UK Black and Ethnic students often fall into the ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘free school meals’ category. However, CTM are pleased to report that the former group had an increase in their grade achievement in 2017, from 44.1% to 44.3%. The latter from 39.1% to 40.3%. All achieving grade four or above and (A-C).

What Does This Mean for the Black and Ethnic Community in the UK:

Quite simply, that the community is achieving against all odds. Every sixteen year old around the country, preparing for a show down in August with their GCSE exam papers, should be encouraged. Despite the educational changes that do make achievement significantly harder, have heart it can and will be done again in 2018.

What Does This Mean for Parents of Black and Ethnic Sixteen Year Olds in the UK:

Keep supporting your child to achieve the very best that they can, don’t look at the results and feel that ‘it should be okay.’ Your child needs you, make the time to work with them on revision see our recent article on this here. In addition, your son needs you. Statistics show that boys (regardless of ethnicity) still are under performing compared to girls. 60.3% of boys compared to 67.6% of girls achieved a grade four or above (A-C) grade, in core subjects such as English and maths in 2017.  While these figures are an increase compared to 2016, and good sign given the academic reforms, the academic achievement of boys needs to fall more closely in-line with girls. Parents can play a key role in this as well as teachers.

In addition, Black and Ethnic minority boys and men have a hard time in society in general, due to history, sigma and stereotypes. Everyone knows knowledge is power, help boys grow into men that can break the invisible but very present ‘Evil Eye’ hex, that historically has been placed on them, as well as low expectations of them. Solid academic achievement by each academic over-achiever can break a historical hex.

CTM will report back in summer  2018 on this academic year’s trends.


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Kim is born in 1983, and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful toddler, a proud award- winning author (awarded Best Romance Novel 2017 for the novel A Stranger In France), and the editor of Conscious Talk Magazine. As a writer Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense and general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own her other passions include practising her French, learning about society, history and culture, fashion, drawing, make-up artistry, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make–up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.

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