On BBC's Question Time on February 7, the panel was asked about the recent debate about actor Liam Neeson's alleged racism. The response given by model and author Eunice Olumide included a brilliant summary of the history and legacies of colonial slavery. Eunice spoke eloquently of "the elephant in the room" – the transatlantic slave-trade and colonialism – "which no-one ever wants to talk about, despite the fact that it is one of the most significant and horrifying points of history, probably in the entire existence of human beings." Find the programme here on iPlayer – Eunice's response starts at around 39 minutes.
Following recent government figures which revealed that white disadvantaged boys are the least likely to access higher education, a new analysis has found that fewer than 3% of students enrolled at Oxford and Cambridge are poor and white. A report from the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon) has shown that more than half of universities in England admit less than 5 per cent of white students from deprived areas. Neon have found that: “Young people in the poorest areas of the country are up to 16 times less likely to go onto higher education than young people in the wealthiest areas.” Read the full article here.
in this TES article. “With no BME leaders, how do we address the unconscious bias that we are instilling in all our students, of any ethnicity: that leaders are white, and for that matter, most often male and middle-class?” writes Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, which runs 52 academies in England. “We are in a cycle of low aspirations; a cycle that will never eradicate racism and unconscious bias; a cycle that will never break the ceiling on career opportunities for BME teachers.”
Referring to the Swann Report of 1985, he asks: “Why, when everyone has recognised a critical issue for decades, can we not find a solution?” At a day conference for those involved in education on March 9 Chalke is launching a movement called ‘Break the Cycle’ to urgently address this issue. Read the full TES article here.
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