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GCSE and GNVQ results

BBC NEWS Education

Some interesting statistics that need an explanation of the underlying factors...

Stephen Twigg - responding to an ethnic and gender breakdown of GCSE and GNVQ results.

It revealed particularly low averages among black Caribbean male pupils, with only a quarter achieving the benchmark of five good GCSEs or GNVQs.

The statistics also showed that Chinese pupils were achieving the best results of any ethnic group.

The analysis of exam results shows that all ethnic groups are improving their average results - but it also shows wide differences between boys, girls, rich, poor, blacks, whites and Asians.

"White British" pupils, representing about 84% of candidates, scored just above the national average for getting five good grades.

But the greater success of female students, in all ethnic groups, saw black African girls achieving better results than white British males.

The lowest-achieving group was not an ethnic group at all - but children eligible for free school meals, among whom one in seven left school without a single pass.

Chinese pupils scored much higher results than other ethnic groups - with 74.8% of pupils achieving five or more good grades, compared to a national average of 50.7%.

Indian pupils also achieved above-average results - with 65% getting above the benchmark - and Irish pupils also scored well, with 60% achieving five good grades.

Pupils defined as being of "mixed white and Asian heritage" also achieved above-average results.

Fewer than a third of black Caribbean pupils achieved five good grades - but behind this figure there is a sharp gender divide, with the average lowered by particular under-achievement among black male pupils.

Only 25% of black Caribbean teenage boys achieve five good grades - compared with 40% of girls.

Among black African pupils, 34% of boys achieve five good grades and 47% of girls.

Girls out-perform boys in GCSE and GNVQ results among white, black and Asian pupils - with the highest-scoring single group being Chinese girls, with almost eight out of ten achieving five good grades.

As well as differences between genders, the report highlights how the impact of poverty cuts across all ethnic groups.

Among pupils who are eligible for free school meals only 24% score five good grades, compared with an average of 55% among pupils who are not eligible.

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