Daily Express (London), September 6, 2008
A controversial race relations campaigner has called for the creation of “black schools” to “stem the avalanche of educational failure and the descent into violent gang culture”.
Lee Jasper, who advised former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on equalities, said it was time the black community ran its own schools, with black teachers and black governors.
He said black schools and colleges could prove to be a “beacon of excellence” for the black community.
Mr Jasper said Jewish, Muslim and Hindu communities already had their own schools. And he accused the “liberal community” of dismissing the idea of black schools, while failing to address “institutional racism” within education.
The comments come after a study suggested that black Caribbean students are less likely to be entered for higher-tier science and maths exams because of low teacher expectations.
The study, conducted by Dr Steve Strand at Warwick University, noted that black Caribbean pupils are among those more likely to be excluded from school, or have special educational needs, including behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
Mr Jasper said: “The fact is, it’s time the black community ran its own schools, devised a curriculum that suited the needs of our children, employed teachers that look like the young people they are teaching.”
Mr Jasper said black schools would be open to all races but would be “focused in terms of their ethos, ethics and curriculum to the needs of our children”.
“Some of the greatest black leaders in the world—Dr Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, to name just two—attended all black schools and universities.
“The US has many historically black colleges and universities. They cater for the needs of the African American and they excel. I am not arguing here for a BNP-style ‘apartheid education system’. I am talking about black business, parents, schools and our magnificent churches coming together and establishing schools that are open to all and are organised around the behavioural, pastoral, psychological and cultural requirements of black young people growing up in a economic environment that excludes black people.”