Daniel Boffey, London Daily Mail, December 22, 2007
Black pupils are enjoying Government-funded school trips that exclude white students.
One hundred schools have signed up to the controversial Black Pupils Achievement Programme, which the Government is piloting in an effort to reduce persistent under-achieving among black children.
Participating schools are encouraged to develop ideas to improve learning and behaviour among black pupils and to involve their parents more.
But the £1.3million-a-year programme also funds trips, through large grants, that white children cannot attend.
Black pupils are taken to galleries, museums and the offices of local companies up to four times a year to be inspired into working harder at school.
The trips are part of a larger effort to ensure that the curriculum reflects the “experiences of African-Caribbean and Muslim pupils”, according to the Department of Children and Schools.
The scheme includes the introduction of the analysis of rap songs into English lessons and classes on the topography of Caribbean islands during geography.
The attempt to encourage black pupils through grants and targeting has already had a controversial introduction—with Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips becoming embroiled in a row with educationalists over his support for separate lessons for struggling black pupils.
Conservative universities spokesman David Willetts said the Government was in danger of promoting segregation in both schools and society with the latest initiative.
He added: “This is dangerous territory for schools to get into.
“What if they were organising trips for white working-class boys?”
Schools in the programme have defended the single-race excursions.
Nigel Akers, vice principal of Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham, where 55 per cent of the school is non-white, said: “We have to target these groups.
“The results are impressive—underachieving black pupils are now outperforming the Pakistani boys, whose grades have been very good.”
Last night Mr Phillips refused to comment.