Friday, March 26, 1999 Published at 08:53 GMT
Black pupils' failure 'not simply racism'
The union wants racial equality training for headteachers
The underachievement of ethnic minority pupils in school can be caused by social deprivation as much as racism in the education system, says a teachers' union report.
The National Union of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers report, Education and Race, says the reasons that children from ethnic minorities perform less well at school are "very complex", with race being a single factor, alongside issues such as "social class and gender".
As such, he says, it can be "counter-productive to rely upon popular assumptions", rather than looking more closely into the specific problems facing specific ethnic groups.
Mr de Gruchy says research has focused on "educational underachievement and exclusions within ethnic minority communities, rather than on the factors which lead to education success and failure".
He called for greater research into the impact of deprivation and gender on educational performance among ethnic minority pupils.
The report makes a number of recommendations which would help to overcome any racial discrimination within schools.