HOW BLACK KIDS ESPECIALLY OUR BOYS ARE TREATED IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN THE UK
My name is Brenda Caesar Conteh. I almost became a victim of a mother whose kid almost got permanently excluded from his school. Ignorance is bad. The bible says ‘my people suffer because of lack of knowledge’. People suffer so much because they are ignorant about the world, they live in. This has led to gross injustice of people especially people from the Black Minority Ethnic group (BME). When you go to prisons, we see more black kids especially black boys there. You interview them or get the data most of these boys or men have been in the care system. The women or girls have also been in the care system or come from very poor background.
Exclusion of kids from school is no exception as to how unfairly kids from the BME are treated. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EXCLUSIONS?
A fixed term exclusion – This is normally for a specific period of time. A pupil may be excluded for one or more fixed periods in a single academic year (up to a maximum of 45 school days). The law states that a fixed term exclusion must not be converted into a permanent exclusion.
A Permanent Exclusion – This is when the child is permanently being removed from the school roll. However, the Head Teacher must not remove the pupil’s name from the school Admissions Register until the outcome of the Independent Review Panel.
IN WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN A CHILD BE EXCLUDED?
The decision to exclude must be:
A decision to exclude a pupil permanently should only be taken;
‘in response to a serious breach or persistent breaches of the school’s behaviour policy and were allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school’
Under the Equality Act 2010 schools must not discriminate against, harass or victimise pupils because of them
Religion or belief
Because of pregnancy/maternity
To avoid permanent exclusion a pupil can be transferred to another school as part of a managed move. This is to allow the pupil to have a fresh start in a new school rather than excluding that child from mainstream schools. However, this has to be agreed by all parties (including the parents) and if the pupil refuses to settle in that new school, he or she must return to the original school.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR EXCLUDING THE PUPIL?
When a teacher or headteacher decides to exclude a pupil the parent or guardian of that pupil must be informed immediately usually by telephone followed by a letter without delay. The reason why it is important to call the parent is so that the parent would be given the opportunity to ask questions.
The correspondence must state
Whether the exclusion is permanent
Where the exclusion is fixed term, the precise period of exclusion (that means how many school days the pupil is excluded from school for)
The reasons for the exclusion
The parent’s right to make representations to the governing body, and ho the pupil can be involved in this
Who to contact about making such representations?
The right to see copies of the school’s record (for Local Authority maintained schools only)
The arrangements to provide work for the pupil to do at home and for that work to be marked and adequately monitored by the school.
WHAT ARE THE OBLIGATIONS OF PARENTS DURING A PERIOD OF EXCLUSION?
During the first five days of exclusion (whether fixed-term or permanent), the parents must ensure that the pupil is not seen in the public during school hours, unless there is a reasonable justification such as the pupil have to attend hospital appointments.
For permanent exclusions, the Local Authority must arrange suitable full-time education for the pupil, to begin no later than the 6th
day of exclusion.
Before I go into the process involving when the parents ask for an independent body to review the decision to exclude a child, I would like to talk about the reality of what happens especially pupils from the Black and Minority Ethnic community (BME) or those form poor and underprivileged background.
The above statistics clearly shows a higher proportion of pupil’s being excluded from Black Background. The questions everyone would be asking by now is WHY.
Summary of Temporary exclusions by ethnicity and reasons
The data shows the number of temporary exclusions by reason for the exclusion. Percentages for each ethnic group are calculated out of pupils who were given a temporary exclusion, not all pupils.
Figures for the Chinese ethnic group are based on small numbers of exclusions, so generalisations based on these figures are not reliable.
The data shows that:
physical assault against another pupil was the most common reason why Asian (28.1%) and Black (26.6%) pupils were given a temporary exclusion
persistent disruptive behaviour was the most common reason why White pupils (33.9%) and pupils from the Mixed ethnic group (26.7%) were given a temporary exclusion
‘other reasons’ made up 26.8% of temporary exclusions for pupils in the Chinese ethnic group and 26.4% for pupils from the Other ethnic group
IN THE NEXT PART I WOULD TELL YOU MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE SCHOOL WHEN MY SON WAS ALMOST PERMANNETLY EXCLUDED.I HAD TO FIGHT FOR MY SON AND THAT WAS WHEN THE REALITY OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE EDUCATIONAAL SYSTEM BECAME A SHOCK TO ME. In a bid to raise awareness I vowed to educate parents especially those from the BME ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM AND THEIR RIGHTS AS A PARENT.
- Written by:
- Brenda Caesar Conteh
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- United Kingdom
- 27 Apr, 2021
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