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EDITIONS
 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 15:14 GMT
Race head criticises schools' record
Trevor Phillips
Phillips not happy with education record
Schools have a record of "shameful failure" in educating black pupils, the new chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality has said.

Trevor Phillips, who takes up the post at the end of February, said poorer exam results were "not principally about class, family circumstances or about motivation".

Black pupils have a record of achieving less than white in England and Wales.

Only 37% of black children gained the top GCSE grades in 2001, compared with 50% of white children.

Chained to bottom

And in 2000-1, 38 in every 10,000 black pupils in England were permanently excluded. This was three times the rate for white pupils and more than 10 times that of Indian children.

Mr Phillips, who is currently chairman of the London Assembly, said it was time "we paid specific attention to the issue of ethnicity".

"It is not good enough to say that if we raise the level in the pool, everyone will float upwards.

"Far too many children seem chained to the bottom and some are drowning before our eyes."

Mr Phillips also cited higher levels of unemployment, early pregnancy and violence, which were "ineluctably associated with the failure of our school system with a particular group of students".

See also:

21 Nov 02 | Race
12 Mar 02 | Education
14 Nov 01 | Education
31 Oct 01 | Education
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