William Eichler 29 September 2020

Black working-class pupils criminalised by ‘two-tier education system’

Black working-class pupils criminalised by ‘two-tier education system’ image

Black working-class young people in England are being unfairly excluded and criminalised by a ‘two-tier education system’, a new report says.

A paper from the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) argues that black pupils are disproportionately being sent to pupil referral units (PRUs) and alternative provision (AP).

AP and PRUs provide education to pupils who are not able to attend mainstream schools because they were expelled, had behavioural difficulties or were bullied.

Focusing on London, the IRR paper found that the proportion of pupils in PRUs and AP in the capital is almost double the national rate, with young boys of black Caribbean heritage overrepresented in the sector.

It argues that this is the result of 40 years of the state attempting to deprive working-class communities of education in response to ‘inner-city youth rebellions and political agitation’ for racial and social justice.

The IRR claims that the education system ‘has been purpose built to segregate.’

Author of the report and IRR researcher, Jessica Perera, said: ‘Amidst the Black Lives Matter protests, we have seen increased demands to decolonise the curriculum. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed a system which fails working-class students.

‘This paper reminds us that those who have been continually failed are found in PRUs and AP and that their segregation is a damning indictment of a planned education malaise, which has been designed and deployed on a specific section of society with a history of resistance and rebellion.’

IRR director, Liz Fekete, added: ‘With this paper, the IRR challenges the superficial analysis that stigmatises young Black Londoners for knife crime whilst failing to look reality in the eye. Could it be that factors such as austerity, privatisation and educational enclosure have in fact hardwired racial injustice into society?’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Apprentice Stonemason

City of York Council
£12.656 per annum
Do you want to pursue a career in Stonemasonry and work on York’s City walls a nationally-important monument? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Apprentice Project Support Assistant

City of York Council
£12,656.10
Looking for a new challenge or your first steps along your career?  Your next adventure starts here!  York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Executive Support Officer

City of York Council
https
City of York Council
Recuriter: City of York Council

Development and Flood Risk Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £141.50 per day + PAYE
Development and Flood Risk Officer Temporary, Full Time £141.50 per day PAYE Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Cleaning Assistant

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue