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Excellence in Cities The Excellence in Cities (EiC) programme was launched by the British Government in March 1999 to raise standards and promote inclusion in inner cities and other urban areas, to try to resolve the educational problems of these inner cities that successive governments have failed to resolve. Initially just based on secondary schools, the programme was proven to be very successful and quickly expanded to include primary schools and worked closely with the Primary National Strategy. The programme has been heavily funded by the government since it was initially launched, with £200 million being spent on it in 2001-02, and an additional £300 million in 2002-03. To date, over 1300 secondary schools and 3600 primary schools in 58 Local Education Authorities have been involved in the EiC programme. In summer 2001, the percentage point increase in pupils achieving five GCSEs at A*-C in Excellence in Cities schools was almost double that of schools who weren't in the programme.[1] The programme tackled underachievement in schools, including the development of Learning Mentors, the development of Learning Support Units, provision for Gifted and Talented pupils and the construction of City Learning Centres. The programme also ran alongside the Leadership Incentive Grant and the Behaviour Improvement Programme. Research into the Excellence in Cities (EiC) initiative also found that while it had boosted results in Mathematics, it had failed to improve performance in English and Science of children aged 11 to 14 in Key Stage 3. Growth The programme started off covering just 25 Local Education Authorities in September 2001, but gradually expanded that to include many more over the following years. September 1999 (First Phase): Covers Secondary schools in 25 Local Education Authorities. September 2000 (Second Phase): A further 22 areas join, along with Primary school pilots in Phase One areas. September 2001 (Third Phase): A further 10 areas to join the programme, meaning it will then cover more than 1000 schools - about a third of all secondary-age pupils in the country. See also Education in England City Learning Centre External links http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/sie/eic/ http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/secondary/excellence.html Excellence in Cities annual report