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Trevor Phillips - Black segregation

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Education - why is it failing young black men?

For decades young black boys have been consistently underachieving in British schools.

Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, makes an impassioned argument for the need to implement change.

"We've had a generation of scratching our heads and commiserating over the failure of black boys.

"It's time for some shock treatment.

"No-one will like it, least of all the teachers.

"But none of us, least of all the next generation of black children to whom these boys will be fathers, can afford a repeat of the last 40 years."

Children interviewed for the programme ' Inside out' on BBC TV, agree that peer pressure plays a considerable factor in underachieving of some black students.

"In short, being clever just isn't seen to be cool" the children explain.

The stance taken by Mr Philips, along with comments he has made regarding the possibility of teaching young black boys separately, has caused quite a stir. Many on the forum, associated with the Webstory, citing this as a British Appartheid. The idea he put forward was based on a scheme being tried in St Louis, USA.

For Full story see BBC Education

Editorial comment: JC 'Orchid'

Having taught in an inner city multicultural school, I can identify with the issue of peer pressure ' clever isn't seen to be cool'. But please please don't stigmatise the lads by segregation.

As with all underachievers, acknowledgement of the problems in school by the Dept of Education, along with associated funding may go some way to providing help. For example 1:1 support, for ALL with serious issues about learning, as well as recruiting teachers from all ethnic groups to motivate pupils, may be a more constructive way of helping with achievement.
By all means have strategies in place to motivate the various groups within our schools, but does he see segregated classes for black children as 'being cool'?. There is already enough of a stigma attached to being in an SEN group. I'm sure Mr Phillips has seen great things in St Louis, but beware of making sweeping statements like this.

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