Afro-Caribbean children lack opportunities

A SERIES of school exclusions forced a mother to move her son out of the area and now she is passing on hope to a new generation. Pastor Rose Lake, of Wembley, was at a loose end when her son kept on getting excluded from primary schools in London so she

A SERIES of school exclusions forced a mother to move her son out of the area and now she is passing on hope to a new generation.

Pastor Rose Lake, of Wembley, was at a loose end when her son kept on getting excluded from primary schools in London so she packed him off to Birmingham where he soon became a star pupil.

Frustrated by what she believed to be a lack of understanding and opportunities for Afro-Caribbean children, Ms Lake set up an organisation to help parents, pupils and teachers better understand each other.

Ms Lake said: "I could not understand how so many people were washing their hands of him and not trying to help him.

"Sometimes all he would do in a class would jump up and down and instead of trying to work with him, he was forced out.

"At a time when Afro-Caribbean pupils are not performing very well I can't believe that so little is being done to help them achieve."

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The Foundation For Justice (FFJ) believes that all too often Afro-Caribbean children are treated unfairly and is working to remove boundaries created by ignorance.

Ms Lake said: "What we want to do is ensure that our young mothers and fathers all realise just how important education is and what it means for the future of their children.

"They need to know that without a good education it is very hard to succeed in this country. We want them to realise that they can help with homework and that they need to get involved.

"In the Caribbean people tend not to get homework as they do a lot of work in school so often the cultures and ways things work can feel foreign.

"Also we are intending to work with teachers and other people involved in our children's education to teach them about our cultures and our histories.

"Often it can be perceived that a young black boy is being rude or disrespectful by not looking the teacher in the eyes but I remember growing up if I looked my parents in the eyes I would get told off.

"The cultural problems are a boundary to understanding at the moment.