Former headteacher Robert Singh and youth work practitioner Daniel Pink joined the PARC Coffee Saturday in Northolt on 29th February to share their insights on how the community could tackle the attainment or achievement gap between Black children and their White peers.

Singh shared some of what he had learnt through working with London schools including the importance of high quality provision, recruitment and retention of a more diverse teaching workforce and the raising of teachers’ expectations. He also underlined that parent and school communication plays a critical role in ensuring that children achieve their potential.

Pink talked about his experience working with Lewisham Education Group and Ubuntu, a leadership program for African/African Caribbean young people and adults. He highlighted the importance of self-determination and working together to forge relationships and networks that can effectively give children and their parents and carers a voice to address the injustices they face in the education system and improve community well-being.

The meeting ended with a lively discussion on the importance of cultural excellence alongside academic excellence. It was agreed that academic excellence was not enough. Black children and young people need to develop a strong sense of identity and self-awareness so that they can not only get their SATS, GCSEs or higher education qualifications but also develop a sense of shared responsibility to give back and build their communities.

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