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rainbow ruler   :  Archive   :  1996   :  BB Schools July 1996


School CP - July 1996


The Times, London, 15 July 1996

Children sent to Caribbean for 'basic' schooling

By Damian Whitworth

BLACK families in Britain, concerned at the poor academic performances of their children, are sending them to Caribbean schools which offer a "back to basics" regime that includes floggings.

An investigation by the BBC programme Black Britain, to be screened tomorrow, estimates that hundreds of pupils are being sent "home" to learn. The programme features Louis Lynch School in Barbados, where five pupils come from Britain. Corporal punishment is dished out for inattention or disruption, jewellery and make-up are banned and lessons are drilled into pupils who sit regular examinations.

"Not all children will respond to a flogging," June Alleyne, the head teacher, said. "Sometimes the children's disciplinary problems are home-based. But we need to be aware that our job is to keep children on the straight and narrow and I think in Barbados we have tried to hang on to what other people might consider outdated methods of discipline. For years we have followed Britain blindly but reports coming out of Britain seem to suggest that some children are being short-changed."

Figures show that 175 black Caribbean boys per 1,000 are excluded from British schools each year, compared with 31 whites per 1,000. A study in Birmingham found that 8.6 per cent of Afro-Caribbean boys got A-C grade GCSEs in mathematics, compared with 32.2 per cent of white boys and 34.2 per cent of Indians. In science the figures were 12.4 per cent for blacks, 36.9 per cent for whites and 44.1 per cent for Indians.

Barbara Campbell took her daughter, Leanna, out of a London school and sent her to Louis Lynch. She said British teaching was too Eurocentric, not strict enough and failed to instil ambition. "Kids need a sense of identity and they don't get it."

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