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Section 11 projects

Supplementary schools set up by Afro-Caribbean and Asian community and parents' groups have been multiplying across the country for the past three decades and continue to motivate children and raise their self-esteem as well as their achievement.

Despite a series of funding reductions, Section 11 projects are still managing to cover a range of activities.

In Waltham Forest, East London, an Afro-Caribbean project targets underachieving boys, aiming to improve their attainment, reduce exclusions and work towards integration into schools.

A team of 16 teachers, most of them black, look at the learning experiences of pupils over a period and identify ways of improving classroom management through child-shadowing.

Jennifer James, co-ordinator of the project, says: "A number of teachers - secondary and also some primary - say that they're afraid of Afro-Caribbean boys. They regard them as a kind of deviant group exhibiting bad behaviour. "

Addressing these perceptions, the team works closely with schools, helping to increase sensitivity to all ethnic groups through in-service training and close liaison with class teachers and getting parents more involved in the life of the school and their children's work.

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