Underachievement and Exclusion of Black School Children

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2002 National Black Members' Conference
31 May 2002
Carried as Amended

This Conference believes black children, and especially black boys, are being failed by the education system, with OFSTED reporting “inequalities of attainment in GCSE examinations place African-Caribbean, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi pupils in a disadvantaged position in the youth education, labour, and training markets, and increase the likelihood of social and economic exclusion in later life….in some cases the inequalities have increased in recent years. African-Caribbean and Pakistani pupils, for example, have not shared equally in the rising levels of GCSE attainment”.

This Conference further believes that the underachievement of black pupils is the result of discrimination in the education system, and that a vicious circle exists by which discrimination creates low self-esteem, leading to underachievement and lower expectations resulting in more discrimination.

The end result for our children is a disproportionate number being excluded from schools and failing to obtain the education they need to enter further/higher education and/or employment.

This Conference calls on the National Black Members’ Committee to raise this issue with the Affiliated Political Fund with the aim of influencing the Department of Education and Employment to:

1)Recognise the discrimination faced by black schoolchildren;

2)Consult widely and publicly with the black community on how such discrimination can be overcome;

3)Ensure that as public bodies our schools adhere strictly to the provisions of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 in eradicating racial discrimination from their services;

4)Conference calls on National Black Members’ Committee, National Executive Council and the Affiliated Political Fund to condemn the recent racist diatribes by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary. His diatribes are undermining the hard work of anti-racists and the MacPherson Recommendations and are giving succour to the BNP and racists.