In April the National Union of Teachers (NUT) took the opportunity of their annual conference in Harrogate to launch Born to be Great, a Charter on Promoting the Achievement of Black Caribbean Boys.
On the basis of the NUT’s belief in the fundamental right of all groups in society to the public provision of quality education, the charter aims to promote and rapidly enhance the achievement of Black Caribbean boys, who suffer from an educational ‘attainment gap’ between them and the national average.
The majority of the charter is given over to concisely setting out the entitlements and responsibilities of the main sets of stakeholders, namely, Black Caribbean boys, schools, teachers and support staff, school governors, Black teachers and finally, the parents/carers. The charter goes on to summarise the key themes and challenges for each group which were identified during a series of roundtable discussions that the NUT convened in late 2006/early 2007.
Key themes and challenges in the charter include:
- The need for a more detailed understanding of the background, culture and understanding of Black Caribbean boys in order to avoid generalisations;
- That fairness and mutual respect are key ingredients of successful institutions and student/teacher relationships;
- The need for further investigation of the impact of street culture on Black Caribbean boys’ underachievement;
- The need for positive focus on Black Caribbean boys who achieve and events to celebrate success.
The NUT sees the charter as being a working document for stakeholder groups to adopt and adapt according to their local circumstances, and encourages its readers to send feedback in the form provided at the end with suggestions for the further development of the charter.
The charter can be downloaded from the NUT website here.