EVERY BME CHILD MATTERS: CLOSING THE ATTAINMENT GAP
The Centre for Educational Success (CES), based at the Black Training and Enterprise Group, is hosting a national policy conference on the 14 May 2008 to identify new actions to raise black and Asian educational attainment.
The CES will call on the government to:
Set up an investment programme to support partnerships between maintained schools and supplementary schools
Ensure the duty on schools to close race equality performance gaps is met
Reward schools that use their premises to support additional learning and support opportunities for pupils and parents, especially in disadvantaged areas
Continue the Aiming High strategy which has been broadly successful since 2003.
Jeremy Crook OBE, Director of the Black Training and Enterprise Group said:
‘Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families has committed himself to closing the attainment gap between the achievements of the most vulnerable pupils and the highest achievers but it is still the case that 50% black Caribbean pupils leave school without a good education. We want to see stronger action taken to push attainment levels up for BME pupils, and parents playing a far greater role in the schools effort to improve performance and behaviour.’
The CES believes more could be done by schools, local authorities, Government and black and Asian groups, including supplementary schools, to ensure all young people leave school with good qualifications and better employment prospects.
BME children and young people are amongst the lowest attaining groups in this country as the GCSE results for 2007 show. Whilst the national average attainment rate for 5 A*-C grades was 59%, only 49% of young people from black Caribbean backgrounds; 53% from Pakistani backgrounds; 55% from black African backgrounds and 58% from Bangladeshi backgrounds achieved this.
BTEG’s conference brings together the partners and stakeholders from all sectors of education including the public, voluntary and community sectors to debate the policy issues, discuss the challenges and to share successes.
The conference proceedings include presentations and workshops involving leaders in the field of BME educational attainment. Attendees will hear from Professor Gus John, Dr Lorna Cork, Dr Tony Sewell, head teachers, Ofsted, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Department for Communities and local Government and the community and voluntary sector.