A recent Guardian Report has further revealed the insidious and anti-Black nature of School Exclusions in the UK. The report found that ‘exclusion rates for Black Caribbean students in English schools are up to six times higher than those of their white peers in some local authorities’. These figures for organisations like BLAM UK sit as a reminder of the scale of the work that is required. As directly impacted persons, we have created projects and campaigns around this in the hope to bring about accountability and change. At BLAM UK we currently provide free school exclusions advocates for the Black community in the UK, to help redress the discriminatory exclusion practice we see rampant in UK schools.
The UK’s continued failure in ensuring a fair and non-discriminatory school exclusions policy exists in this country, is both a discrimination law issue and an international human rights issue.
The UK is continuing to fail its International legal obligations under ICERD ( International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ) by allowing for this racist school exclusion policy to continue.
There is an ongoing culture from the State, that can only be seen as a complete disregard to the racialised outcomes of the School Exclusion policy in the UK.
ICERD’s General Recommendation 34, an instrument focuses on discrimination of People of African Descent, the UN has made it clear that States must : Review and enact or amend legislation, as appropriate, in order to eliminate, in line with the Convention, all forms of racial discrimination against people of African descent. It is our view at BLAM UK that rights holders under this convention are being neglected, as the UK Government has not put enough safeguards in place to protect persons of African Descent.
In September 2020 BLAM UK alongside Hackney Quest and Islington Law centre launched a campaign to abolish school exclusions in this country. We believe as stated by Martin Luther King Jr. ‘the time Is always right to do what is right’. Join our campaign here
By Ife Thompson – BLAM UK Founder