Government announces pupil premium to support disadvantaged pupils
A new pupil premium to raise achievement among disadvantaged children will start from 2011. The government has launched a consultation about how to operate the premium, which will provide additional funding for more disadvantaged pupils on top of the existing funding provided to schools.
Read our comment to the pupil premium and how you can take part in the consultation.
Academies Act 2010
Read our comment on what the Academies Act means for the future of education.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published its Structural Reform Plan which sets out key priorities and outlines dates for cutting bureaucracy in schools, setting up free schools and academies, introducing the new pupil premium and creating new technical colleges for vocational and technical education.
The DfE has also announced it will shortly be outlining priorities for children and families policy. Read the Plan here.
We will continue to monitor changes and keep you informed through this newsletter, seeking to influence developments where necessary.
The Young Foundation has published its second paper in the Opening Doors to Apprenticeships series.
Paper 1 looked at the issues faced by young people who are disadvantaged and disengaged from apprenticeships. Paper 2 Reflected on ways forward considering the next steps that need to be taken to understand disadvantage and/or disengagement from apprenticeships better, to raise awareness, to create more effective pre-apprenticeship routes, and to improve employer engagement.
In reflecting on the way forward, the paper urges stakeholders to consider the barriers specific to young people from certain BAME groups who are over-represented among those who are NEET (not in employment, education or training) and provides case studies of projects which target BAME young people.
While not focused on BAME young people specifically, Paper 1 highlights the markedly low uptake of apprenticeships by certain BAME groups and described some groups of BAME young people typically face in participating in apprenticeships. It noted that not enough is understood about the impact of ethnicity on accessing and completing apprenticeships or the support needed to overcome such barriers.
The study also found that apprentices from BAME backgrounds are particularly under-represented in traditional craft-based sectors, and in some more modern sectors, such as customer service and hospitality. Only four apprenticeship programmes, covering sport, community justice and IT, had 10 per cent or more apprentices from a BAME background. Just one person of Pakistani, Indian, black African, black Caribbean and Chinese ethnicity respectively completed a Construction Advanced Apprenticeship in England in 2006-07, compared with more than 2,400 white Britons.
On 22 July the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched a consultation into the future of skills policy to be published after the Comprehensive Spending Review in October.
The paper outlines ideas on various issues surrounding skills and training and invites responses and suggestions.
In line with the government’s view of the Big Society, the consultation paper sets out that people should have more choice in deciding what skills they should learn. By allowing communities to develop amongst themselves the skills needed, the paper envisages people taking a more active role in building the Britain they want.
The work of MiNet and others on the recession has revealed that in London certain BAME communities have been disproportionately affected in terms of poverty and employment. As such, we recommend that any work around skills development and training should recognise this and target action to enable those BAME communities to overcome the impact of the recession.
This consultation may be an important opportunity to ensure that the interests of BAME communities are heard. If you are working with BAME communities in the areas of poverty, skills and employment, we urge you to respond to this consultation. It you do not have time to contribute directly please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177 and we will support you to respond.
Read the consultation paper and respond here. The deadline is 14 October 2010.
An independent commission, headed by Graham Allen MP, has been announced by the Department for Education to investigate early intervention policy and practice.
The commission will look at the best models for early intervention and advise on how these could be extended to all parts of the country. It will also consider how such schemes could be supported through innovative funding models, including through non-government streams.
We welcome this review. We have highlighted the importance of early intervention in tackling many of the underlying contributors of socioeconomic as well as ethnic inequality for a number of years, through our varied projects relating to children and young people. We also recognise the critical role of BAME organisations in early intervention approaches.
The recommendations from our Female Voice in Violence project, for example, which looks at the impact of serious youth violence on young women and girls, has a strong focus on early intervention in health, education and housing and the role of BAME women’s organisations.
However, we have concerns about statements made by Mr Allen about the potential private sector involvement, which are unlikely to effectively engage the most at risk BAME children and young people.
We urge the review to consider in-depth the role of the BAME sector in early intervention approaches and to make recommendations for continued support for the sector. An interim report, which will include some findings on best practice will be released in January 2011, with the final report due in May 2011.
If you are a BAME organisation working with children and young people and would like to submit evidence to this review but need support please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177.
Carlene Firmin, Senior Policy Officer and Female Voice in Violence Coordinator at ROTA, wrote about this issue on 11 August in the first of a monthly column for the Guardian Society section. Read her piece here.
In July, the Department for Education released its latest ‘Statistical First Release’ on school exclusions from data compiled during 2008/09.
The report shows a general improvement on last year’s figures, with overall permanent exclusion rates falling from 0.12 per cent to 0.10 per cent. However, pupils from certain BAME backgrounds such Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Black Caribbean are again over-represented in this year’s figures.
Boys remain roughly three times more likely to be excluded both permanently and on fixed term. Students with special educational needs (SEN) and students who are eligible for free school meals are eight and three times respectively more likely to be excluded than other children.
The Runnymede Trust’s latest ‘Perspectives’ magazine, which focuses on race equality and school exclusion argues that Conservative Party proposals to scrap excluded students’ right of appeal could disproportionately impact on BAME pupils.
The magazine, which contains essays by exclusions experts such as Diane Abbott MP, and Professors Val Gillies and Cecile Wright, outlines the considerations needed when developing exclusions policy, as well as highlighting policy proposals to tackle exclusion levels. This year’s exclusion figures highlight the urgent need for the government to take forward these recommendations.
To read this magazine, please register with the Runnymede Trust for free here www.runnymedetrust.org.
We support the Runnymede Trust’s work on exclusions and race equality in schools and would recommend more training for schools, and partnerships between them, social health services and BAME organisations, to help reduce exclusions.
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is setting up a new work programme on education.
The programme is currently collecting information from children regarding their views and experiences of schools’ policies and practice on areas such as admissions, exclusion and the qualities they would like to see in teachers.
If you work with children and young people and have evidence or views you would like to contribute, please contact John Connolly, Principal Policy Advisory (education) at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Alternatively you can pass on information through ROTA as we work closely with the Deputy Children’s Commissioner by contacting Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177.
Mentoring bursaries from BTEG
BTEG is offering a £500 bursary towards achieving the Mentoring and Befriending Approved Provider Standard for voluntary organisations supporting black boys or young men aged 13-25 in England. To find out more about the scheme, contact Delia Julien-Modest on 020 7843 6119.
The Government’s decision to end the Child Trust Fund and Savings Gateway will disproportionately affect BAME people, says Labour MP Kate Green.
In her Early Day Motion (EDM) on the subject, she underlined the importance of the fund in allowing people on lower incomes – who rarely have savings – to rely less on credit and debt.
Th check if your MP has signed the EDM here. EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. The more MP signatures they receive the more likely they are to be debated. You can encourage your MP to sign by writing to them. Check your local MP here.
This section of the newsletter is brought to you by the Winning the Race Coalition. ROTA formed the Coalition with Voice for Change England and the Runnymede Trust in 2009 to ensure the Equality Act 2010 fairly addresses issues of race equality and to enable the BAME sector to use it. It includes an action group which steers its work and a wider group of 49 organisations and individuals. Find out more about the Coalition and how to join here.
The most important provision for race equality and the BAME sector relates to the Public Sector Equality Duty which comes into force in April 2011.
The new Public Sector Equality Duty applies to eight protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It is the duty on public bodies and other bodies including voluntary organisations which deliver public services to consider how they will promote equality of opportunity, eliminate discrimination and promote good relations. It will replace the general duty for race from the Race Relations Act from April 2011.
The specific duties are the regulations which will help public bodies to meet this duty. They are important as it is through them that courts will judge whether public bodies are doing enough to ensure equality in the services they provide and as employers.
ROTA is pleased that the proposed new Public Sector Equality Duty will require public authorities to collect more transparent equalities monitoring data. However, we are concerned that it will not require public authorities to consult communities, and that there is no increase in enforcement powers. We are concerned that the new Public Sector Equality Duty might make it more difficult for BAME communities and their organisations to ensure public bodies are delivering equality of opportunity to all communities.
We will be developing our response over the coming months and would like to engage as many BAME organisations as possible to ensure race equality can be taken forward through the new Public Sector Equality Duty. We are producing a briefing on this consultation and delivering an event in partnership with MiNet in London, which we will be publicise soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact Ewan Kennedy on 020 7902 1177.
Last week, the government announced its consultation on the new Public Sector Equality Duty. The consultation document is available here.
We have three sets of resources available to help you understand and implement the Act.
A guide to public law and equality rights
The National Equality Partnership has updated its useful guide for voluntary and community sector organisations on public law and equality rights. ’Keeping it Legal’ aims to support organisations to use public law to challenge unfair decision making. Download the guide here.
In its paper on public health and criminal justice, the Centre for Mental Health has analysed policy approaches and arguments for tackling the long-term root causes of offending.
The paper argues that there is a strong connection between what it considers to be some of the underlying determinants of offending – poor mental health and social exclusion. It argues that a mixture of new and innovative tools, as well as proven ones, is needed to effectively deal with the offending.
Early intervention is mentioned as the best way of dealing with the underlying causes of offending, and the paper makes the financial case for investing in early intervention as a means of reducing health and criminal justice budgets. It argues that public health practitioners are best placed to design the kind of services required, and to act as intermediaries between authorities, such as the health and criminal justice services, where cooperation may be lacking at present.
The important role of the voluntary and community sector is highlighted with some examples of innovative practice by the sector presented.
The paper notes links between health and criminal justice and the disproportionate socioeconomic disadvantage experienced by certain groups of BAME people. Read the paper here.
The Ministry of Justice and the Home Office published their proposals last month. Download our quick guides to the key topics here.
Fieldwork starts on the national research element of the project in September. Teams of volunteer researchers have been recruited and trained in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. Over the next two months we will be supporting the teams to collect the views of females and males, on the impact that gang violence has on women and girls.
ROTA’s Female Voice in Violence Project (FVV) explores the impact of serious youth and gang violence on women and girls and seeks to influence policy and practice.
The FVV Coalition, established earlier this year to oversee the project, submitted a response to the consultation on the GLA Gender Equality Scheme. The FVV response highlighted the role of the GLA in addressing the impact of gangs and serious youth violence on women and girls.
The draft Gender Equality Scheme sets out what the GLA has done, and plans to do, in relation to race equality.
We also recently produced a policy briefing on outlining how the Way Forward, the Mayor of London’s strategy to End Violence Against Women and Girls, acknowledges the needs of gang-affected women and girls.
Over the coming months we will undertaking a survey of service providers in a bid to capture the number of women and girls affected by serious youth violence with whom they are currently working. If you are interested in taking part in this survey please let us know. For more information on the FVV Programme please contact Carlene Firmin on 020 7902 1177.
The Health White Paper – Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS
The White Paper proposes one of the biggest reforms of the health service ever seen. Download our guide to some of the key proposals and our initial thoughts on their potential implications for the BAME sector and race equality in relation to health. The guide also includes further resources and opportunities to get involved in shaping the Health White Paper.
Find out more about the Facebook page dedicated to BAME people living with dementia and their carers here.
In June, the London Dementia Strategy Implementation Task Group and the Afiya Trust held a seminar entitled Dementia – Connecting with BMER (Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) Communities for participants from a variety of voluntary and statutory sector organisations.
All the participants wanted to see better information sharing on dementia in BMER communities and a networking arrangement. As a result the Task Group has developed a Facebook Page for organisations in London working with BMER people living with dementia and their carers. Access the page here.
Three new briefings are available from Better Health.
‘Health and social care experiences of black and minority ethnic older people’ observes that older people from BAME groups continue to receive poorer treatment from health services, and are also under-represented as service users. Barriers include language difficulties, lack of information, differing expectations of what services can offer, as well as stereotyping by professionals. The briefing notes that there is a growing body of evidence on what older BAME people want, but this is rarely adopted by mainstream services. Read the briefing here.
‘The health of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK’ reports that health among Gypsies and Travellers continues to be poorer than in the general population. This is partly attributable to poorer access to and uptake of services. Very little progress is being made addressing these health inequalities because of a lack of funding for the few practices that exist. There is little policy attention given to these groups, along with a combined lack of attention from policy makers. Read the briefing here.
‘Health and access to health care of migrants in the UK’ highlights the need for planning and delivery of health services to take into account the growing community of UK residents born abroad. The briefing notes distinguishes between many of the health issues faced by BAME communities born in the UK and those of migrant groups, stating that the needs of the latter group have been largely untouched. The lack of information on the health of migrants along with political concern over ‘health tourism’ has prevented effective approaches towards their health needs. Read the briefing here.
In July the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation launched their collaborative project, Right Here, a five-year programme that aims to change the way we look after the mental health of young people age 16-25 in the UK.
Through support, advice and early intervention the programme hopes to reduce the number of young people developing mental health problems that could become lifelong conditions.
One of its four frontline partners, New Choices for Youth Trust, will target its services at BAME children and young people in inner London, ensuring the overall project generates learning about how to meet any specific mental health needs of these groups.
Children and young people from certain BAME communities are more likely to face mental health issues. If you’re an organisation which works with these groups, have a look at the resources on Right Here’s website.
Time to Get Moving to end stigma
Time to Get Moving is a week of events from 9-17 October 2010 which aims to address mental health stigma and discrimination.
Events are held by many organisations across England. BAME communities are disproportionately affected by mental health issues and this week could provide you with the opportunity to raise awareness within your community.
Find out more about organising a Time to Get Moving event and receive free event planners and materials here. You can also speak to event experts on 020 7034 2772 for free advice. If you decide to hold an event and would like support from staff at ROTA on the day please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177.
The report states that although the Department of Health (DoH) has made serious attempts at tackling health inequalities, progress has been slow. Although life expectancy has increased overall, it has done so less in Government designated ‘spearhead’ areas (geographical areas where life expectancy is considerably lower than average). The findings are significant for BAME communities as 44 per cent of England’s BAME population live in spearhead areas.
The report notes that in its 2007 Health Inequalities Intervention Tool, the DoH identified three key interventions to reduce the gap in life expectancy:
It argues that while improving life expectancy in the short term, these approaches fail to tackle the underlying causes of health inequality. Consequently they are unlikely to address similar health risks faced by the next generation.
The IMPACT Awards reward charities’ excellent work to improve people’s health. They are open to registered charities which are at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with a total annual income between £10,000 and £1.5 million. Prizes range from £35,000 for the overall winner to £3,000 for runners-up. The closing date is 24 September. Find out more here.
Health for All? 1 October 2010
ROTA’s Chief Executive, Dr Elizabeth Henry, will be speaking about race at this half day conference on health inequalities, which will bring together key organisations working on health in Islington.
The conference will also include workshops on access to services; anti-stigma and mental wellbeing for BAME communities; cross sector partnership working to reduce health inequalities; relationships and sexual health. Find out more and book a place here.
ROTA’s new ePolitix site
We have launched our public affairs microsite on ePolitix.com. The site is the first port of call for MPs and their researchers when they’re looking for expert advice and comment on specific issues. Our aim is to bring BAME voices and representation directly to Westminster and Whitehall and increase our influence on your behalf. Have a look at the ROTA ePolitix site here.
As part of the site’s launch, our Chief Executive, Dr Elizabeth Henry, was interviewed on ePolitix. She discusses the need for the new Government to tackle inequality in Parliament and in the UK in general. Elizabeth speaks about the flaws in the practical implementation of ‘the Big Society’ and the failure of significant parts of the public sector to conduct adequate equality impact assessments. Read Elizabeth’s interview here.
ROTA and MiNet have submitted a joint response to the consultation on the Greater London Authority Race Equality Scheme (RES). The draft RES sets out what the GLA has done, and plans to do, in relation to race equality. Our response recommends that:
An Examination in Public (EiP) on the Mayor’s draft replacement London Plan started on 28 June.
The London Plan is the Regional Development Strategy for London. It outlines the strategic objectives of the GLA in terms of developing London, and how these will be implemented by local boroughs. All London boroughs will use this to form their own local development frameworks to inform planning decisions.
The London Plan consultation was held in late 2009. Read the draft replacement Plan here.
The EiP is a public consultation looking in detail at each policy in the draft replacement London Plan. The Panel Chair, Peter Robottom, and the Panel Inspector, David Lavender, chair daily hearings of 25 attendees invited to make their case for changes to the draft Plan. The EiP will run until 22 October. Get further details here.
ROTA submitted a response to the consultation on the draft Plan and was invited to sit on several of the EiP hearings. So far we have taken part in the hearings on:
We will also be taking part in the following hearings:
We are also working as part of the Just Space Network to increase the voice of civic society in the development of the draft Plan.
Where the plan attempts to achieve equality, we will ensure it recognises and addresses the historical disadvantage faced by some communities. We will aim to ensure the plan is altered to address these needs. If you are interested in being involved please contact Ewan Kennedy at 020 7902 1177.
On 27 September, a new educational guide will be launched at London Metropolitan University.
The guide explores the origins of racism and poses questions like:
Speakers will include David Allport, Director of the Rewind anti-racism project; Elena Noel, Hate Crimes Project Manager, Southwark Mediation Centre; Paul Obinna, cultural engagement specialist and creator of the TIMELINE; and David Dalgleish, author of ‘Where Does Racism Come From?’
To find out more and to book a place, please email email@example.com or call 07712 591488 or 020 7320 2222.
The London Development Agency (LDA) has axed the £4 million Mayor's Incubator Fund designed to help voluntary and community organisations win contracts in the new world of larger commissioned contracts.
LVSC has criticised the move at a time when the delivery of public services by voluntary and community organisations is a core part of the government's Big Society plans. The cut comes after several boroughs, including Croydon, Westminster and Harrow, reduced funding for the voluntary sector.
We are concerned that London’s most marginalised communities, among which BAME people are over-represented, will suffer most.
Peter Lewis, chief executive of LVSC, said: “At a time when the delivery of public services by voluntary and community organisations is being trumpeted as a core part of the Big Society it is astonishing that the LDA has cut this fund.”
The fund was announced by LDA chief executive Peter Rogers last year and was due to launch this year. Its initial focus was on getting smaller charities to work together to provide employment and skills programmes.
Voluntary groups also hoped for help winning bigger public sector contracts across youth services, recycling, social enterprise, homelessness and health.
London Councils are currently undertaking a review of their commissioning programme.
London Councils currently awards £28.4 million funding to the voluntary and community sector each year through this programme. A significant proportion of this is targeted at BAME communities through frontline BAME organisations and the specialist BAME support organisations which work with them. It is likely that significant cuts will be made to this important fund.
ROTA submitted a comprehensive response to Phase 1 of the consultation on the Commissioning Programme in January which highlighted the continued need for this programme as an important source of funds to address race inequality in London with other regional BAME policy organisations and through Voluntary Sector Forum, the network of London Councils commissioned organisations.
We will also be submitting a response to the latest consultation which was launched in early September. We will send a separate e-update about work by ROTA, MiNet and the Voluntary Sector Forum on London Council’s latest consultation soon.
To find out more or to take part in the various activities going on around this review please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177.
Boris Johnson, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Association (MPA), invited Cindy Butts to chair an independent inquiry in 2008 into race and faith issues in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
The inquiry examined the progress made by the MPS against recommendations into race equality within the police from:
The report will shape the response of the Mayor of London and MPS to the under-representation of BAME communities in the police service. We will be monitoring this response and reporting future developments in this newsletter.
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