Why does racial inequality persist in schools?

University of Birmingham, Education Building, Room G39
Social Sciences
Wednesday 25th May 2011 (14:00-16:00)
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Contact: Aidan Thompson
Email: a.p.thompson@bham.ac.uk
Tel: 0121 414 3602

Chair: Christine Skelton, Professor of Gender Equality in Education, University of Birmingham

Panel members: Louise Archer, King’s College London, Sean Hayes Greenwich LEA, Feyisa Demie, Lambeth LEA

The educational underachievement of minority ethnic groups has been targeted by central and local governments for the last thirty years with various degrees of success. However, it continues to be the case that there are various patterns of achievement evident amongst and between ethnic groups. The contributors to this debate will consider questions around ethnic underachievement. For example, Is the education system geared towards countering racial inequalities or maintaining them at a manageable level? What is the significance of the current focus on white working class underachievement? What will be the impact of free schools, academies, ultra-traditional history curricula, Michael Gove's focus on discipline, the contraction of higher education on BME (and white working class) communities? Should we dispense with framing debates on race/ ethnicity in the underachievement paradigm and seek new ways of understanding racialised experiences in education? Have we missed key historical opportunities for change and improvement (and have we heard the voices of black and anti-racist commentators)? Have pundits and policy-makers been too quick to declare the death of race and racism?

Cost: Free of charge, please register your interest with Aidan Thompson