Experts are discussing the inequalities faced by black school children, as a report finds black teachers in London were subject to daily racist abuse.
A study says black teachers and students face racism
The London Schools and the Black Child conference will consider how best to support black teachers.
Other topics being covered include successful teaching methods for black boys in school.
The conference aims to address underachievement among children of African and Caribbean heritage.
London mayor Ken Livingstone opened the event and speakers will include experts from the government and media.
The conference coincides with the release of a report by academics at London Metropolitan University which found black teachers in London were subject to daily racist abuse.
According to the study, conducted for mayor Livingstone, black teachers are still under-represented in London schools.
The report said: "Racism has a major impact on the everyday experiences of black teachers.
"To encourage more black people to become teachers, racism in schools must be challenged and support mechanisms put in place to enable staff and pupils to counteract racist experiences."
Mr Livingstone said: "We need our schools to reflect the community they serve.
"Two years ago we underlined the need for more of London's teachers to come from minority ethnic communities to reflect the fact that more than a third of London pupils come from minority ethnic communities.
"Since then we have seen steps forward in the recruitment of black teachers, but at the current rate it will take far too long to have a truly reflective teaching workforce."
A spokesman for the DfES said: "Racism and bullying have no place in our society, let alone in our schools."