Grade Booster exam workshops for 2024. Join us in to Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle Book now

Study Notes

Tikly et al, ‘Evaluation of Aiming High: African Caribbean Achievement Project’, (2006)


Last updated 19 Aug 2020

This is an overview of a contemporary piece of sociological research.

Brief summary of research methods:

  • Postal questionnaires were sent to thirty schools to obtain data on attendance, exclusions (fixed-term and permanent), and data relating to the proportion of African Caribbean pupils in higher teaching sets and higher-tier subject examination entries.
  • Quantitative data on prior attainment and national performance was also supplied by the DfES.
  • The researchers obtained qualitative data by conducting semi-structured interviews with a third of the sample (10 schools). These interviews were conducted with pupils, teachers, headteachers, parents and governors to understand the extent to which schools recognised ethnic diversity and how ethnic minority pupils were treated in terms of behaviour and discipline.

Key findings:

  • Results had improved for African Caribbean pupils attending Aiming High schools at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, irrespective of gender.
  • Nevertheless, Black Caribbean boys remained the lowest achieving group in Aiming High schools at Key Stages 3 and 4.
  • African Caribbean boys were more likely to be in lower ability sets and entered for lower tier papers.
  • Poor representation of African Caribbean pupils in Excellence in Cities funded gifted and talented cohorts.
  • A whole-school approach is needed to address African Caribbean achievement to ensure accountability and consistency.

Link to specification:

Link to Education:

  • Highlights the different ways in which African Caribbean pupils are not effectively supported in schools, nor is their attainment effectively addressed.
  • Despite the government introducing the ‘Aiming High’ project, it still did not tackle the issues African Caribbean pupils are facing within schools, e.g. in terms of labelling and not being academically challenged or supported.
  • Majority of both high and low achieving African Caribbean pupils highlighted that they were aware teachers had lower expectations of them. This finding can be used to evidence the impact internal processes have on the achievement of ethnic minority pupils.
  • Could be used to support critical race theorists who argue that the education system is institutionally racist.
  • Research links to educational policy and attempts the government made in 2003 to raise the attainment of African Caribbean pupils. Tikly et al’s research can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of government policy.

Link to Crime and Deviance:

  • The findings can be used whilst analysing Cohen’s research on ‘status frustration’ and the impact of educational failure.
  • Could be argued that negative experiences in education could result in some pupils seeking ‘status’ elsewhere, i.e. deviant activities.

Link to original article:

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.