‘In Year 1 of our School Exclusions Inquiry we found a boy of Black Caribbean heritage with Special Educational Needs (SEN), eligible for free school meals is 168 times more likely to be excluded from school than a White British girl without SEN, from a more affluent family…
On 24 April 2013 we published our Year 2 report “Always Someone Else’s Problem” on illegal exclusions. Supported by a survey of teachers, it details the scale and nature of children illegally excluded. At a conservative estimate, this affects thousands of children in several hundred schools’.
Read more: http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/info/schoolexclusions
The Department for Education has been forced to withdraw its statutory guidance on school exclusions which came into force less than a month ago, on 5 January 2015.
Lawyers acting for the Communities Empowerment Network (CEN) and Just for Kids Law (JKL), organisations that uphold children’s rights and provide advocacy and representation for excluded children and their parents/carers, threatened legal action against the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, over her failure to consult on the new guidance and the DfE’s attempts to surreptitiously pass it off as simply providing minor clarifications and updates for governors and headteachers on the previous (2012) guidance on school exclusion. Continue reading
To Charlie Hebdo and all who sail in her, I say: as Salam-O-Alaikum! Shalom Aleichem! Pax Vobiscum! Peace Be With You!
The metres upon metres of newsprint that followed the Paris attacks have been a masterclass in the contortions of a post-colonial Europe seeking to come to terms with its redefined self.
Most commentators agree that the murder of those 12 people, including one Muslim policeman, cannot be justified, however much some Muslims and non-Muslims found Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons and lampooning of Islam/the Prophet/ Islamist extremists/Muslim terrorists gratuitously offensive and recklessly provocative.
Those, like me, who declared ‘Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie’ because we considered Charlie Hebdo’s take on ‘free speech’ and ‘the right to freedom of expression’ without boundaries abhorrent were judged by some commentators to represent the extended arm of the ‘war on freedom’. Continue reading
Prof. Gus John arrived in the UK in August 1964, aged 19, to study for the priesthood. But almost from the moment he arrived he became involved in what was to become his life’s calling – education, youth work and the struggle for social justice and human rights for embattled communities as an activist and an academic. Help us celebrate his birthday and his lifetime achievements in March 2015.
This two-part programme is a celebration of 50 years’ campaigning for the rights and education entitlement of all children, for racial equality and social justice and against unlawful discrimination in all its manifestations.
Submission to the BMH UK Parliamentary Round Table on the Harris Review into ‘self-inflicted’ deaths of 18-24 year olds young in prison:
On 6 February 2014, the Justice Secretary announced an independent review into self-inflicted deaths in National Offender Management Service (NOMS) custody of 18-24 year olds and invited Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody to conduct it. Black Mental Health (BHM) UK organised a round table discussion on 19 January 2015, hosted by Lord Toby Harris on ‘self-inflicted’ deaths of young people in prison, at which some 24 African practitioners and academics/activists, including me, shared verbal evidence. BHM UK’s invitation to the round table noted:
‘The purpose of the review is to make recommendations to reduce the risk of future self-inflicted deaths in custody and focus on themes include vulnerability, information sharing, safety, staff prisoner relationships, family contact, and staff training. There is debate as to whether or not young people from the UK’s African Caribbean Community are more affected by this disturbing trend of self-inflicted deaths’.
This written submission supplements the verbal contribution I made to the round table discussion. Continue reading
We should be worried about the competence of those running our universities, says Gus John, who identifies three reasons why bullying goes unchecked in academia.
‘Publish or perish’ research culture in universities is damaging staff morale. Photograph: Donna Yates/Donna Yates
The results of the Guardian higher education network’s survey on bullying in higher education should give the entire sector cause to worry about the competence and style of leaders and managers in the sector.
As someone who has examined the equality policies and action plans of every institution in the UK in the last 12 years, I identify three key problems:
1) University leaders put money ahead of learning
Vice-chancellors, provosts and principals are running institutions that see themselves more and more as corporations or conglomerates. They are not understanding that financial management and brand leadership should not displace the fact that universities are first and foremost learning communities – and that the principal function of education is to humanise society.
Management competence must be measured as much as anything else by senior managers’ capacity to demonstrate a knowledge of employment law and acceptable practice, and its convergence with equality and human rights legislation. They need to know how they would ensure that it forms the foundation on which they set about building and sustaining a culture of equity. Continue reading