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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 00:14 GMT
Minorities 'need school cohesion'
Expert Tony Sewell says schools should not focus too much on race
Schools should focus less on multi-culturalism and more on social cohesion to raise standards, an education specialist says.

Tony Sewell said poorer results were obtained by ethnic minority pupils in schools which "tried to please every single different group".

Dr Sewell is one of the speakers at a conference on Friday looking at issues facing mixed-race children.

Research shows they have high exclusion rates and achieve poor exam results.

Dr Sewell said schools also needed to recognise that mixed-race children were not a homogeneous group.

"It's almost like the closer you are to the Caribbean, the closer you are to failure because white-African children produce better results, then you move up to white-Asian and that's fairly good, especially for girls," he said.


Mixed-race people are the UK's fastest-growing ethnic group.

During the 1990s their numbers increased by more than 75% to around 415,000 - 10% of Britain's ethnic minority population.

Mixed-race people can face suspicion and distrust from both sides of their family
David Phillips, Sheffield University
The conference in Sheffield on Friday will be examining ways of tackling the problems faced by mixed-race children.

As well as education, delegates will also focus on mixed-race children's over-representation in the care system and criminal justice system.

David Phillips of Sheffield University is carrying out research into the problems of mixed-race people.

He said they often had to face issues not experienced by people of other ethnic groups.

"Mixed-race people can face suspicion and distrust from both sides of their family, fall outside dominant racial categories and are often profoundly and hurtfully misrecognised by others," Mr Phillips said.

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