Project NextGen B launch
A few years ago a report revealed that Black students in the UK are nearly four times as likely to be suspended as white students, and nearly twice as likely to be expelled. Even more shocking is that black pre-schoolers are 3.6 times more likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions.
To further compound this, In the report the experiences of black and mixed heritage boys in the youth justice system published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of probation in October 2021 it states:
In all services we inspected, staff and managers told us that the large majority of black and mixed heritage boys in the youth justice system had experienced multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and had high levels of need, such as special educational needs (SEN) and mental health difficulties, which had not always been identified or properly addressed until they came into contact with the YOS. This raises questions and concerns about the support they received from mainstream services before their involvement with the youth justice system. Reports of high levels of unmet need for black and mixed heritage boys entering the youth justice system was a consistent theme of this inspection. There was a consensus among YOSs that, had problems and difficulties been addressed earlier in the children’s lives, there could have been a different outcome for them.
In light of Child Q, the 15 year old school girl who was unfairly strip-searched by police in East London after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis by her schools SEND Behaviour Intervention Manager, an incident that has been highlighted to demonstrate institutional and structural racism in education and the disproportionate harsh treatments of Black children, it is vital now more than ever to delve into the black experience of SEN and behavioural support.
Despite these inequalities there has been a lack of community led research to uncover the perceptions and experiences of parents accessing SEN and Behavioural Intervention for black and mixed heritage boys and girls in the early years.