22. Memorandum submitted by
A NEW STRATEGIC APPROACH TO TACKLING THE
HIGH LEVELS OF BLACK MALES IN OUR PENAL SYSTEM
Generating genius is a charity set up in 2005
to give bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds a real
opportunity to access science education at university level. It
was set up by Educationalist Dr Tony Sewell who saw the potential
of using the resources and knowledge based in university science
departments to support young secondary school children.
This project aims to encourage higher standards
of educational achievement amongst black and minority ethnic groups,
in particular 11-14 year old African Caribbean boys, by improving
pupils' motivation and self-esteem through the study and learning
of science, technology, engineering and medicine.
Generating Genius is a rolling programme. It
recruits, every year, boys into a residential summer school and
e-mentoring programme. It will eventually recruit girls but has
initially responded to the need to respond to the underachievement
of boys from disadvantaged backgrounds.
This is a science academy which takes 12 year
old children and trains them over five years in the arts, discipline
and knowledge of research science.
Our vision is to encourage and develop
talented boys from a disadvantaged background to aspire to professions
in medicine and scientific research.
We want to work in partnership with
a number of established university science, engineering and medical
We want to produce a learning model
based on a "science academy" that will nurture young
We want to impact the wider school
environment by producing leaders who will influence their peers
by becoming role models.
We see this as a model for any serious approach
in tackling the problems of black youth. Previous approaches have
centred on the "social exclusion" model that has pumped
millions in terms of resources into initiatives such as the Ethnic
Minority achievement Grant and a host of small short-term crime
One of the reasons why there has been a limited
impact in these initiatives on crime levels amongst black youth
is that we have failed to do three things:
1. Intervene when these boys are young.
2. Develop their innate genius.
3. Have longitudinal programmes not short-term
This is a radical approach, which seeks to find
diamonds in the rough. What many of these boys need is a mental
engagement at a high level. This will mean serious investment
in a programme like ours, to have a serious impact may well cost
around six million pounds, but it is far cheaper than what is
spent on keeping these boys in the criminal justice system.
The African Caribbean community needs to have
what I call "a momentum of success" where boys from
seriously poor backgrounds are given a chance to shine. There
are vested interests in social exclusion programmes, mainly because
they are job creation schemes. If the Home Office are serious
about tackling African Caribbean male disaffection, then back
schemes like ours which works with boys from 12 to the university
door (and we don't mean the university of crime).