Boot out this camp idea

18th April 2003 at 01:00
WAS Damian Green, shadow education secretary, really endorsing boot-camp style teaching for black boys (TES, April 4)?

Attitudes such as this have contributed to the negative experience many black and ethnic-minority pupils have had at schools. The result is decades of underachievement by children from some ethnic groups who have not had the opportunity to reach their potential.

The Association of London Government recently published research that looks at the issue of black and ethnic minority underachieving at school. We found that to reverse this trend the curriculum needs to be more inclusive, schools must work more closely with parents and local communities, and teachers need more training and support to work in multicultural classrooms.

We also found that there needs to be targeted support for pupils at key stages 2 and 3. We found that these are the stages where black and ethnic-minority children are most likely to fall into patterns of underachievement.

The research supports out-of - school learning but not the kind Damian Green suggests. We found many community-based projects in London that were making a positive difference to young people.

These were projects that added to the work done by schools offering a supportive and creative learning environment - the type of environment all children thrive in.

Louisa Woodley

Chair of education panel

Association of London Government

Southwark Street

Southwark

London SE1

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