School exclusions show racial bias
March 21, 2013 — News
Written by Ryan Erfani-Ghettani
A new report shows that black and minority ethnic children are far more likely to be permanently excluded from schools.
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has warned that schools are failing their Black and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils, among others. The findings are published in a report, They Go The Extra Mile, which is based on the findings of a national inquiry held between August and December 2012.
Data submitted to the inquiry by key stakeholders in the field has shown that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are four times more likely to be permanently excluded from schools, while Black Caribbean pupils are over three times more likely than other pupils. The inquiry found that, while some schools are going ‘the extra mile’ to support the diverse needs of their pupils, others are failing to address the specific needs of pupils from certain backgrounds. According to Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner for England, certain schools see catering for the needs of their BME pupils as an ‘optional extra’.
Excluded children are far more likely to get into trouble with the law and less likely to gain employment … Children who need support to meet behavioural and academic expectations should be given it. They should not be written off because of their background.
They Go The Extra Mile recommends that schools pay heed to best practice on managing the needs of the most frequently excluded groups.
The report, They Go The Extra Mile, can be downloaded here
The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.