To find out more about ROTA’s
work on education or to contribute please contact Barbara
Nea, Senior Policy Officer, on email:email@example.com
or tel 020 7842 8531.
of O-levels: Will Michael Gove to get rid of GCSEs in
It seems the latest big change to
education being proposed under the banner of reforms
by government is the replacement of GCSE exams with
a more traditional style of exams modeled on the old
O-levels. The implication could be a much more rigorous
exam system with less emphasis on continual assessment
and course work.
Under the old system, pupils judged
more able were assigned to sit O-levels (GCE), while
the bulk sat CSEs. The proposed change was signaled
in an internal education department document leaked
to the Daily Mail on 21st June.
The education secretary, Michael Gove,
has already scrapped the modular element of GCSEs and
his education white paper in 2010 signaled a major reform
of the exams. While government has not confirmed the
Daily Mail’s story, Gove has previously expressed
a desire to return to the more traditional way of teaching
a subject for two years followed by exams. Responding
to a question about the Daily Mail’s story in
the Commons, Gove said that he would be publishing a
consultation paper in due course.
The Liberal Democrats have indicated
that they would seek to block such proposals.
ROTA is concerned the limited assessments
being proposed would only capture the progress of a
very particular type of learner. We need a system that
enables all learner types and not just those capable
of committing large amounts of knowledge to memory to
reach their full potential and a system where there
is equal investment available to education for all types
of learners. This change would be a step further away
from such a system. It is also likely to further entrench
the two tiered nature of our current system is likely
to cause further upheaval within an education system
which is already overloaded.
Additionally such changes would have
important implications for BAME pupils. There is considerable
evidence that many teachers stereotype BAME pupils,
perceiving black boys in particular as less academically
able. As a result the changes to exams could see many
bright students being entered for lower level exams,
limiting their future academic opportunities. With the
old system, the lower level qualification was widely
considered to be inferior, with a lower quality of further
education service available to those who undertook it.
ROTA will follow this story as well
as educational reforms and keep you updated through
education submission to the Liberal Democrats Race Equality
The Liberal Democrats’ Race
Equality Task Force was commissioned by Nick Clegg MP
to identify effective measures to tackle inequality,
discrimination and under-representation affecting BAME
communities and individuals.
The group are in the process of compiling
a report about race equality in education, the early
years and career guidance. The aim of the report is
to identify key issues surrounding race equality in
these areas and to make subsequent policy recommendations
to try and address the issues.
In early June, ROTA submitted evidence
to the taskforce about race equality in education in
London. To read our submission, please click here.
Minister announces support for families
In May the Prime Minister announced
a new support programme for families which included:
a digital service for new parents, with timely
information via email and texts as their pregnancy
develops and their child grows;
free parenting classes for all parents of children
aged five years and under in three trial areas;
relationship support for first time parents in
four trial areas of the country from this summer.
ROTA was pleased to note the involvement of the Race
Equality Foundation, a leading race equality organisation,
as a key delivery partner in the free parenting classes.
Children’s early years are a crucial time. We
feel support should also be made available to parents
of older children. One of the key findings of ROTA’s
Shaping the Future: Race and racism in 21st century
Britain seminar series was that parents struggle to
support their older children to overcome some of the
particular challenges they face as residents of disadvantaged
inner London boroughs, such as lack of employment opportunities,
gang activity and serious you violence. Participants
called for additional support for such parents via grass
roots community organisations. Over the coming months
ROTA will progress the seminar series in exploring these
particular support needs and how they can be addressed.
Further information will be available soon.
To find out more about the government’s new programme
of support for parents please click here.
research on ‘the Experiences of Black Students
in Higher Education’
Elevation Networks research study
‘Race to the Top: the Experiences of Black Students
in Higher Education’ was published by the Bow
Group in April 2012. The study explores the experiences
of Black students from African and Caribbean backgrounds
within Higher Education and the challenges faced in
Research conducted by the Institute
for Public Policy Research in 2010 found that ethnic
minorities have been disproportionately affected by
the recent rise in unemployment. This pattern can also
be observed within the graduate market. Indeed, Black
graduates are three times more likely to be unemployed
than white graduates within six months of graduation
and, should they find employment, Black graduates are
expected to earn up to nine per cent less for the same
work within five years.
The ‘Race to the Top’ study
further investigated the causes of these disturbing
statistics and makes a series of policy recommendations.
To download the report please click
– the Mayor of London’s Inquiry into education
In April ROTA responded to the consultation
on the interim
report from the Mayor of London’s Inquiry
into education in London.
The Inquiry, which is running from
November 2011 until September 2012 is exploring some
of the critical challenges facing London's primary and
In our response
to the interim report we welcomed the Inquiry as a positive
response by the Mayor to some of the deficiencies within
the capital’s education system. We also welcomed
the Inquiry Panel’s acknowledgement to the different
educational opportunities, experiences and outcomes
for different BAME groups. We expressed concern about
the lack of emphasis played on the role of racism in
educational disadvantage and consideration given to
the duties on public bodies with educational responsibilities
under the Equality Act 2010. We also expressed concern
about the level of engagement of BAME communities in
the Inquiry and have since written to Deputy Mayor for
Education and Culture, Munira Mirza, raising our concerns
about the consultation process.
To find out more and to work with us
in responding to this Inquiry please contact Barbara
Nea, Senior Policy Officer on email firstname.lastname@example.org
or tel: 020 7842 8531.
To read the Interim Report from Inquiry
Panel please click here.
To read ROTA’s response to the
consultation on the Inquiry Panel’s Interim report
please click here.
alternative inquiry into education in London to launch
latest issue of Agenda, produced to coincide with the
GLA's Education Inquiry, is set to launch soon. This
alternative inquiry into education in London presents
views from London’s BAME sector, young people
and parents on some of the critical challenges facing
schools in the capital from a race equality perspective
and reports from ROTA’s Shaping the Future: Race
and racism in 21st century Britain seminar series. Visit
our publications webpage for further details about this
and all our reports and publications.
Shaping the future: Race and racism
in 21st century Britain was planned to follow the
retrial into Stephen Lawrence’s murder. It brought
together 300 representatives from across the voluntary
and community sector. The seminar series focused largely
on education in considering what progress had been made
against race inequality in London since 1993.