Protecting our Children

Protect Project

Established 2013

Education

Education - Protect Project Conference

The primary site for achievement for children and young people must be formal and informal education. Yet formal education, in the form of schooling, one of the main routes for achievement for all children and young people, has been shown by over 40 years of research to be problematic for black and minority ethnic children and young people, in particular African Caribbean and increasingly second generation African children and young people. In 1971, Bernard Coard published his How the West Indian Child is made Educationally Subnormal in the British School System.

In his book Coard made claims based on his study of the schooling experience of the black child in the UK school system, which were to be echoed for the next 40 years plus, by successive education researchers writing on the subject. Since the 1970s to date, there has been a large number of studies looking at the schooling experience of black and minority ethnic children and young people and all have concluded that this demographic of students are not accessing a quality education, hampered largely by issues arising from their ethnicity.

These studies show that substantial numbers of boys and young men from African  Caribbean, and increasingly, African backgrounds, are underachieving and being excluded at disproportionate rates in comparison to all other ethnic groups. Research also confirms that these same children enter Reception class and Year One with reading skills which are no different to white children (Wright 1992).

A further concern is the evidence of poor home – school partnerships between schools and black parents.

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