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General Certificate of Secondary Education: Ethnic Groups

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what factors he has identified as the primary causes of the disparity between children from different ethnic groups in GCSE attainment. (253619)

The analyses from the latest national statistics on survey responses to the Youth Cohort Study (YCS) and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) released on 26 June 2008 exemplify the multi-faceted nature of the influences on GCSE attainment and outcomes. They show that personal characteristics including ethnicity, first language, socio-economic background, attitudes and behaviours all have strong relationships with attainment and participation outcomes. However it is noteworthy that GCSE attainment by black and other minority ethnic groups has improved over the last five years more rapidly than that of the whole cohort, so that most remaining gaps have narrowed.