In March 2003, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) produced a consultation document entitled Aiming High: Raising the Achievement of Minority Ethnic Pupils.

This document set out an agenda for raising the achievement of minority ethnic pupils and bilingual learners and sought stakeholders’ views on the delivery of this agenda.

In October 2003, Stephen Twigg announced a range of work under the Aiming High banner including a project to raise African Caribbean Achievement. The Aiming High: African Caribbean achievement project launched by the DfES in November 2003 aimed to work with leaders of schools to develop a whole school approach to raising the achievement of African Caribbean pupils.

The thirty Aiming High schools were provided with extra resources including funding of up to £16,000 for leadership on the project, support from a consultant, training support from the NCSL and a further grant of up to £10,000 per year. As part of the pilot, the DfES commissioned researchers from the University of Bristol, the Institute of Education and Birmingham Local Education Authority to undertake an independent evaluation.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Performance of Aiming High Schools
  • Getting the Basics Right: School leadership, systems and structures
  • Strategies to raise achievement: targeting teachers, pupils and parents
  • Effectiveness of External Support
  • Conclusions- Lessons Learnt
  • Recommendations for National Roll-out