Black churches to set up schools;News;News amp; Opinion

19th November 1999 at 00:00
BLACK evangelical leaders are preparing to set up their own separate primaries to combat under-

achievement of black children in the state system.

The Black Majority Churches, with 250,000 members in 3,000 churches, said that, despite evangelical churches having run Saturday schools for the past 30 years, the Government had failed to consult them in its drive for more out-of-school education.

Mark Sturge, general director of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, said: "The Black Majority Churches are experts in supplementary education, yet were not consulted. Instead, the Government has chosen to put the primary providers and local authorities at the forefront of this provision - even though these are the same people who so badly failed our children in the first place."

The lessons in reading, writing and mother-tongue languages have been running since the 1960s.

The evangelical churches plan to announce the introduction of their own schools at their conference next year. The Government has already approved state funding for Jewish, Muslim and Sikh schools. And last year the Seventh Day Adventist school, John Loughborough, north London, was awarded state funds.

"Catholics have their own schools, Anglicans and Jews have their own schools. The black community is the only one not looking after itself," said Mr Sturge.

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