Exclusion alarm

11th December 1998 at 00:00
This week's finding that black children in some parts of Britain are being excluded from school at 15 times the rate of white classmates is deeply disturbing. Recent figures show that exclusion is often the first step in a life of crime (page 2).

Nationally, black pupils are more than three times as likely as whites to be excluded - a statistic which suggests a less than even-handed approach to different ethnic groups. However, these broad figures may owe as much to social class as to racism. Nearly everywhere, working-class children are excluded more frequently than those from middle-class families. Since there are far fewer black middle-class families than there are white, arithmetic alone suggests that black exclusions will be higher.

But the TES's analysis illuminates the extremes buried within the national statistics. Why should such disparate areas as Merseyside and Essex exclude 10 or 11 times as many black pupils as whites? In the week in which we heard that black people are five times more likely than whites to be stopped and searched by police, the Commission for Racial Equality is right to question what lies behind these alarming exclusion figures.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now