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We wish the County Council to withdraw/delete/ignore the "Race to the top" consultation on the proposal to focus on white working class young people as it is effectively proposing a potential unlawful course of action.

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I was totally shocked when I read the new Northamptonshire County Council consultation "Race to the Top". I found it surprising that no one I knew had heard of the consultation. I also found it surprising that at the bottom of page 6 of the document it states that it will focus on "white working class boys". I thought that there must be evidence to support this proposal and was keen to find out more about it. However when I started asking questions about this it was clear that there was no evidence to show that white working class boys did any worse than black working class young people. In addition, on looking at the performance levels of black young people in Northamptonshire schools, they were doing a lot worse than their white counterparts. Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council and Wellingborough Black Consortium wrote to the Northamptonshire County Council last week (11/11/14) expressing concern about the consultation and the proposals.

The statement (h) in the section “Building Blocks for success" of the consultation document states,

“Closing the gap – white, working class boys, Looked After Children

h.        Aspirational target setting based on the notion that all children and young people have the same potential and their personal circumstances should not dictate or influence the targets set for them.”

I have made a Freedom of Information Act request for the evidence based of White Free School Meals students achievement as compared to Black Free School Meals students achievement. THe Northamptonshire County Council response advised:-

"No tool or release splits it by ethnicity and FSM as the fsm eligible cohort for the minority group will be too small”.

I do not believe there is a local evidence base for target for White Free School Meals students; and national data (which is available on this issue - see below - taken from the Department of Education report) states that Black students continue to do worse than all other ethnic groups (except Gypsy/Traveller pupil):

“Pupils from a black background remain the lowest performing group, although they have shown the largest improvement. (page 10)

GCSE AND EQUIVALENT ATTAINMENT BY PUPIL CHARACTERISTICS IN ENGLAND, 2012/13. DfE 2014

The proposal contained within the Race to the top document is potentially unlawful as directly discriminatory to Black Caribbean children and the current evidence base is completely inadequate.

 



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