Select Committee on Education and Skills Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum from Birmingham Race Action Partnership (EB03)



  Birmingham Race Action Partnership is a development agency that seeks to influence the mainstream practice of institutions through research, consultation, lobbying and by providing strategic and policy guidance. A background paper explaining the origins of b:RAP and how we deliver our agenda is attached to this message.

  In the area of education, b:RAP has three core strategies that directly relate to developing education provision in Birmingham and addressing issues of inequality. These are described in more detail in the attached table. However, Birmingham Race Action Partnership also deliver on a number of thematic areas of work across the city, including Health, Culture, Black Voluntary Sector Development, Neighbourhood Renewal, Criminal Justice, Housing and Organisational Development.


  Our topics for discussion with the committee members are derived through our experiences of addressing race equality issues in Birmingham, and more specifically relate to a recent report Commissioned by b:RAP and other partners, and conducted by Profession David Gillborn and Dr Simon Warren from the Institute of Education, London. The report was commissioned by b:RAP to provide an analytical and community driven perspective of the education provision as it applies to BME communities in Birmingham. b:RAP works in areas that require innovation and experimentation to address "traditional" or systemic issues. The report, in our view provides a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a high achieving education authority, in the area of race equality. We are grateful to the LEA, and Tim Brighouse in particular, for not being satisfied with a glowing OFSTED report, and for being prepared to highlight areas of non-achievement.


    —  Patterns of attainment by ethnicity and gender.

    —  Which type of interventions appear to work when addressing race equality.

    —  The "tensions" between national and local policy.

        —  The quality of management of race equality across a complex school system.

        —  The degree of influence and joined up working that is "lost" to the system.

        —  Students voices.

        —  Policy into practice.





What's been

Community Involvement

The involvement of BME communities in both the development and delivery of mainstream services as a mechanism to enhance and improve provision.

1. Developing "Community Advocates"—individuals who can be utilised as a resource by individuals at strategic/policy-making level.

2. Understanding the needs of BME learners using this information to inform service delivery.

1. A cohort of 12 Community Advocates have been trained.

2. A Black Learners Network has been developed and will have a strategic influence in planning provision in collaboration with the LSC and BLLP.

Service Delivery

Service Delivery has to have a direct and informed relationship to addressing both learner needs and economic needs of BME communities.

1. Provider Network to develop a direct relationship with community involvement strategies in order to build on and develop delivery.

2. Support LSC contractual role and responsibility for legislative responsibilities eg RRAA2000.

1. Provider Network is in its early stages of development.

2. Working with LSC and others to implement "IMPACT MEASURES" which will highlight and monitor equality gaps.


To develop a community driven perspective on the accomplishments of equality initiatives in Pre-16 Education.

1. Develop analytical information that can inform policy development.

1. Research has been produced.

2. Launch and implementation strategy to be developed.



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Prepared 31 October 2002