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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 March 2006, 10:51 GMT
Sunday school targets black boys
Black boys in classroom
Many Caribbean boys under-achieve at GCSE
A new school which aims to improve the academic performance of black children - particularly boys - in London is starting to register pupils.

The Kana Foundation, based at the University of London, will target under-achieving children from African and Caribbean families.

Classes are on Sunday mornings for children aged eight to 19 years old.

Only one in six black Caribbean boys get five good GCSEs including maths and English - the league table benchmark.

The director of the Kana Foundation, Angie Brooks, said boys in particular would benefit from the classes - which will include courses in SATS, selection tests, GCSE and A-Levels.

'Under-achieving' implies they can do better than they are doing
Angie Brooks

She believes its prestigious location in Russell Square is symbolic in itself in persuading students they can belong to such institutions.

She told BBC London the Kana school was an exciting educational initiative whose "time had come".

"We are looking specifically at children who are under-achieving and children who are at high risk of exclusion from school," she said.

"'Under-achieving' implies they can do better than they are doing, we are looking at children within African and Caribbean communities who are under-achieving because they are gifted and talented."

Commission for Racial Equality boss Trevor Phillips has suggested in the past that black boys may have to be separated from classmates to help improve school performance.

But government figures released this month suggest GCSE results among black children were improving faster than any other ethnic group.

In last year's exams the proportion of black Caribbean and African pupils achieving good GCSE results rose to 45% from 39%.

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