Gresham College Lectures

Race, Disability & Education: Law's Uphill Battle - Leslie Thomas KC

June 24, 2024 Gresham College
Race, Disability & Education: Law's Uphill Battle - Leslie Thomas KC
Gresham College Lectures
More Info
Gresham College Lectures
Race, Disability & Education: Law's Uphill Battle - Leslie Thomas KC
Jun 24, 2024
Gresham College

This lecture traces the history of race and disability law in the English education system. It examines the impact of discriminatory policies on Black children, children of colour, and disabled children, and how narratives around race and disability have changed.

The lecture questions why inequality persists and explores possible solutions.


This lecture was recorded by Leslie Thomas KC on 23rd May 2024 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London

The transcript of the lecture is available from the Gresham College website:
https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/education-law

Gresham College has offered free public lectures for over 400 years, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. There are currently over 2,500 lectures free to access. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds. To support Gresham's mission, please consider making a donation: https://gresham.ac.uk/support/

Website:  https://gresham.ac.uk
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/greshamcollege
Facebook: https://facebook.com/greshamcollege
Instagram: https://instagram.com/greshamcollege

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

This lecture traces the history of race and disability law in the English education system. It examines the impact of discriminatory policies on Black children, children of colour, and disabled children, and how narratives around race and disability have changed.

The lecture questions why inequality persists and explores possible solutions.


This lecture was recorded by Leslie Thomas KC on 23rd May 2024 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London

The transcript of the lecture is available from the Gresham College website:
https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/education-law

Gresham College has offered free public lectures for over 400 years, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. There are currently over 2,500 lectures free to access. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds. To support Gresham's mission, please consider making a donation: https://gresham.ac.uk/support/

Website:  https://gresham.ac.uk
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/greshamcollege
Facebook: https://facebook.com/greshamcollege
Instagram: https://instagram.com/greshamcollege

Support the Show.

Learning became a priority because I was dyslexic and made educationally sub normal. Therefore, I needed time to learn, time that I could have spent working, paying for private lessons for my children and traveling the world with them if only I hadn't been a product of an evil kind of racism. Very similar to slavery, where enslaved Africans remain at the very bottom of society and weren't allowed to read. In fact, It could be fatal for an enslaved African to be caught reading a book. Maisie, she's sitting at the back Maisie Barrett in her book, the Wind Rush Generation. This is my final lecture as Gresham professor of law, and um, I've decided to go out on a biggie. I'm gonna talk about education, race, and disability in the English state education system. Out of necessity, I'm gonna focus on England. Obviously, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate education systems with distinct history and under devolution, there's also been an increase in divergence between the English and the Welsh education systems. Unfortunately, time doesn't permit me to talk about Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish experience. In fact, it's gonna be a, a bit of a rush. So hang on to your hats as I try to get through, um, this lecture, there's a lot. Before I do so though, I want to pay tribute, um, to Claudia Neil and Sally McLaren, who have helped me with my, the preparation of my lectures. Um, without them there would be no lectures 'cause they've really have done a lot of research to help me while I spend time in the in the day job. I also want to thank you. Um, some of you have become familiar faces over the last four years in supporting me in coming to these lectures. So thank you. It shouldn't be controversial to say that all children and young people deserve a high quality education, which will maximize their potential, give them the opportunity to succeed and thrive. The introduction of universal free state education was an enormous step forward for society. Unfortunately, however, the English state education system has often delivered grossly unequal outcomes with black children and disabled children being sys systemically disadvantaged. Now, in the first part of this lecture, I'm gonna trace the history, uh, and the development of state education in England with a particular focus on the experiences of black and disabled children. And in the second part, I'm gonna look at how racist and eugenicist ideas have influenced the educational discourse and will debunk the false claims of the hereditary who argue that there are genetic differences in intelligence between races. I'm gonna wrap up with some suggestions for how we can improve things. Content warning in this lecture. When quoting historical laws and policies, I'll often have to quote offensive and stigmatizing language about disability. I, I obviously apologize for this, but this is necessary to present an unvarnished picture of how policy makers of the time viewed people with disabilities. We're gonna start our story In the late 19th century, before 1870, elementary education for working class children in England was provided by two voluntary religious bodies, the National Society, which was Anglican and the British and Foreign School Society, which was non-conformists. The 1870 Education Act known as the Forest Act was the genesis of state education. It established elected school boards which were responsible for providing state run elementary schools complementing the existence system of voluntary schools. The Elementary Education Act 1880 made elementary education compulsory and the Elementary Education Act 1891 made it free education for disabled children followed not long afterwards following the 1889 report to the Royal Commission on Blind and Deaf Parliament passed the elementary education Blind and Deaf Children Act 1893. These acts required schools, school authorities to make provision for the education of blind and deaf children. In 1896, the committee on Defective and Epileptic children was established, which reported in 1898. Following its report, the elementary education Defective and Epileptic Children Act 1899 gave school authorities power, but not a duty to provide the education for severely epileptic children and of children whom the act defined as defective. Now, you might be wondering, what's a defective child? Well, that was defined as a child who by reason of mental or physical defect, was incapable of receiving proper benefit from the instruction in ordinary public elementary schools, but was not incapable of receiving benefit from instruction in special classes or schools. The education system was reorganized by the 1902 Education Act, which abolished the school boards and replace them with a two tier system of local education authorities. However, secondary education was still not free for most pupils and many working class children still lacked access to secondary education. At this time in history, a new scientific idea was gaining popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. That idea was eugenics. The term eugenics was coined by in in 1883 by Francis Galton. Now, eugenics believed in an improving the quality of the human race through selective breeding, including forced sterilization or forced segregation of those who were deemed hereditary. Defective eugenics was closely linked with scientific racism, the idea that some races were genetically superior to others. Now, a key tenant of the eugenics movement was the importance of intelligence testing the forerunner of the modern I IQ test, which was developed by the French psychologist Alfred Dene. Now for the purposes of identifying children who would need extra help in school. However, contrary to Bennet's own intentions, his work was adopted by the Genesis. As Ready Writes, quote, Benet explicitly warned against dangerous and unsupportable extrapolation of his work, such as using his tests to peg normal children, AD and adults on a si single linear scale of immutable intelligence. Notably American eugenics Henry h Godard eager to catalog Americans along just such a scale promptly ignored Bennet's warnings, translated the tests into English and pushed for their widespread use. Godard developed a system of classification of those he characterized as feeble-minded, dividing them into idiots I, basils and morons. As Reddy writes for Godard morons or those with mental ages of eight through 12 pose the gravest eugenic threat because of the ease with which they could pass for normal and reproduce God odd found morons wherever he looked, criminals, alcoholics, prostitutes, and anyone incapable of adapting themselves to their environment and living up to the conventions of society or acting sensibly. Most immigrants also fit this classification. God, our tested immigrants arrive in our at Ellis Island and found that quote, the intelligence of the average third class immigrant is low, perhaps of more on grade. God odd concluded that quote, immigrants of recent years is of a decidedly different character from early immigration. We are getting the porous of each race. Paus in there you might see echoes of this rhetoric in the modern day. The views of Donald Trump who has be bemoan. The lack of immigrants from nice countries such as Denmark or Switzerland has complained. When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best and has accused immigrants of poisoning the blood of our country. Unfortunately, eugenic thinking is still with us today, but let's return back on our historical look to the early 20th century. We can see that intelligence testing was closely interrelated with eugenics, racism and classism. It wasn't just that the U in the US that eugenic ideas was influential. Here in the uk, parliament passed the Mental deficiency Act of 1913, which was strongly influenced by eugenic ideology. It provided for the detention of Defectives who were classified into four groups. Now I'm gonna read out the definitions from section one of the act because they reveal so much about how policymakers thought about disability in 1913. Subparagraph a idiots, that is to say persons so deeply defective in mind from birth or from an early age as to be unable to guard themselves against common physical danger. So paragraph B siles, that is to say persons who, whose case there exists from birth or from an early age mental defectiveness, not a mountain to idiocy, yet so pronounced that they are incapable of managing themselves or their affairs or in the case of children of being taught to do so, subparagraph c feeble-minded persons. That is to say persons in whose case that exist from birth or from an early age mental defectiveness, not a mountain to I, but yet so pronounced that they require care, supervision, and control for their own protection or for the protection of others or in the case of children, that they are by reason of such defectiveness appear to be permanently incapable of receiving proper benefit from the instruction in ordinary schools. Subparagraph d Moral ils, that is to say persons who from an early age display some permanent mental defect coupled with strong, vicious or criminal propensities on which punishment has little or no deterrent effect. Local education authorities were required to ascertain which children in their area were defective children and were incapable by reason of mental defect of receiving benefit or further benefit from instruction in special schools or classes. We can see therefore that children with mental and intellectual disabilities were labeled defective, stigmatized with terms like idiot buil or feeble-minded, which were written into law as statutory classifications. They were divided into two broad categories. Those who were deemed able to benefit from special educational provision and those who were not the former could be educated by local education authorities. And the elementary education and defective epileptic act of 1914 converted the power to educate them into a duty. The latter by contrast were denied education and could be confined into institutions. Under the Mental Deficiency Act, the legislation governing special educational provision for blind deaf epileptic and so-called defective children was later consolidated by part five of the Education Act 1921, The Education Act 1944, known as the Butler Education Act, revolutionized the education system in England well making secondary education free and accessible to working class people. The school leave age was raised to 15 controversially. However a tripartite system of secondary education was adopted. They were grammar schools, technical schools, and secondary moderns in descending order of prestige with pupils school placements being dependent on how well they did in the 11 plus exam. The legacy of this tripartite system continues to be a highly controversial issue in British politics. On one hand, it gave new opportunities to some academically able working class children who became the first in their families to attend grammar school and university. On the other hand, those children who were placed in secondary modern schools did not fare so well. Paul Dash, who came to the UK from Barbados at the age of 11, attended a secondary modern school in Oxford, called it quote, one of the fouls most souls destroying experiences of my life. And added though just 11 years of age, I quickly became aware that the quality of teaching and learning in school was substandard. The curriculum teacher's expectations and quality of teaching was simply awful. It was often pointed out at the time that the selective education system incorporated a class bias as Derek Gillard writes in 19, in the 1950s quote, it was becoming clear that intelligent quotient quotient could be affected by coaching and were related to previous social and educational experience. He highlights that in intelligent testing and comprehensive schools. A study in 1953, Brian Simon argued that intelligence tests were used in the selection system. They were flawed because the questions favored middle class children and so define the kind of intelligence being measured. He also describes the 1953 study by Hel Helsley and Gardener, which found that the secondary modern schools cater largely for the sons of manual workers. Very few middle class children found themselves in secondary modern schools. A boy has a greater chance of entering a grammar school if he comes from a middle class rather than a working class home. End of quote. In the 1960s, there was a movement towards comprehensive education in which children would attend the same secondary schools comprehensives, regardless of academic ability. Under the labor education Educational Secretary, uh, Anthony Crossland Circular 10 65 was issued in July, 1965 requiring local education authorities to submit plans to reorganize the education systems along comprehensive lines. When the conservatives came to power in 1970, they replaced this with the circular 10, uh, stroke 70, which allowed local authorities to decide to decide their own policy. However, according to Anne West, comprehensive education was almost universal by the, uh, 1980s. Today, there are still some grammar schools in England, but most children attend comprehensive schools. What about disabled children In performing their general duty to provide sufficient schools, local education authorities were required by Section eight, subsection two, uh, little C of the 1944 act to have regard to quote, the need for securing that provision is made for pupils who suffer from any disability of mind or body by providing either in special schools or otherwise special educational treatment. That is to say education by special methods appropriate for persons suffering from that disability. The handicapped Pupils in Schools Health Services Regulation 1945 defined various groups of pupils who were deemed to require special educational treatment. One of these groups was quote, educationally subnormal pupils. That is to say, pupils who by reason of limited ability or other conditions, result in in education. Retardation required some specialized form of education wholly or partly in substitution for the education normally given in ordinary schools. The term educationally subnormal or ESN was born, thus passed into common parlance in the education system created by the 1944 Act. Under the section 57 of the 44 Act. It remained the case that those disabled children, those with particularly serious disabilities who were deemed by the local education authority to be incapable of receiving education at school, were excluded from the education system and instead dealt with under the Mental Deficiency Act, which in 1944 was still in force. The Mental Deficiency Act was later repealed and replaced by the Mental Health Act 1959, but it remained the case that supposedly in Educatable children could be excluded from state education. Finally, the Education Handicapped Children Act 1970 abolished this distinction and required local education authorities to provide education for all disabled children. A new distinction was developed between moderate and severe educationally subor children or ESMM and E-S-M-N-S. This ideology was clearly reflected in the writing at the time. One example is a article referred to as the Backward Child by Joan Cash. She describes Backward Children as follows, quote, they range from boys who play truant to hopeless mental defectives, unaware of their surroundings, and leading a helpless vegetative existence in institutions as to the cause of backwardness cash. Enlightens us quote, the basic fundamental and direct cause is nearly always an arrest in the development of intelligence and not a disease process. About three quarters of the total number of backward children fall into educationally subnormal category, and the majority of these suffer from a simple familial deficiency of a mile degree. Meanwhile, during this period, concerns started to grow about black Caribbean children being classified as educationally subnormal at higher rates than other races. In 1967, the inner London Education Authority noted that 28% of children in uh, e in ESN schools were immigrant. Professor Bernard Code, who were taught in an ESN school in 1960s published his landmark book, how the West Indian Child Is Made Educationally Subor in the British School System in 1971. And the question has to be asked, how do you find and seek out these children? Well, cash in her article enlightens us the method of e estimating, the degree of backwardness and the intellectual ability of the child is not really in the realm of pediatrics and is carried out by specially trained medical officers or educational psychologists. While every other condition aspect of the case may be taken into account, there is the IQ before us in black and white, a number associated with the child. And while it is most important to form an accurate diagnosis and treat organic causes where possible, the main object of the treatment is to educate the child according to his ability so that he may eventually become a useful happy citizen with as much independence as possible. Understanding and vigilant school teachers may help by spotting cases early and preventing them from languishing on the back row of the classroom. However, this system of categorizing and selecting the subnormal was deeply flawed, marred by racism, classism, and discrimination, all underpinned by dubious scientific principles. There is no doubt that the system was institutionally racist. Professor Sal Sally Tomlinson writes, during the 1970s, I studied a group of children being referred and moved to ESN schools. The black children being moved more speedily out of mainstream schools than white or South Asian children. The head teachers or referring schools were in no doubt that, uh, educational subnormal schools were for children who were slow learners, backwards, badly behaved, and that black Caribbean children fitted the criteria. They commented that the West Indian child was more likely to be slow at learning, had poor concentration spoke. Creole dialect were volatile, boisterous, extrovert and troublesome, and had family problems and working mothers. The assumption were that these were natural qualities and several mention genetic inheritance, a racist claim being pushed by some academics in the 1970s and currently some hit teachers were patronizingly sympathetic. It's such a transition for kids. One minute they're sitting under a banyan tree waiting for their breakfast to fall on their heads. The next they are in a cold, wet place. End of quote. Most were concerned about disruption in the classroom. West Indian children are boisterous less keen on education than Asians. They are violent. A lot of you whites aren't gonna tell me what to do and some express fear of Black Power. The black power people destroy kids, especially the less abled. There was no evidence for this last. And I did talk to one boy labeled as violent, which I found difficult as he was almost totally deaf, something the school had not noticed. Unsurprisingly, this system had a devastating impact on many black children who were subject to it. In a recent BBC documentary, Noel Gordon, a child sent to Gordon School for ENSN children at the age of six said, quote, school was hell. I spent 10 years there and when I left at 16, I couldn't even get a job because I couldn't spell or fill out the job application. The BBC describes vividly how Noel ended up at that school. Quote, about a year before joining the ESN school, Noel had been admitted to hospital to have a tooth removed. He was given anesthetic, but it transpired that Noel had undiagnosed sickle cell anemia and the anesthetic triggered a serious reaction, Noel says, as a result of his health issues, this led him to being perceived as having learning disabilities and being recommended for a special school. Yet no evidence or explanation of his disability was ever given to him or his parents. As Professor Gus John said that label made children feel inferior. Students from ESN schools wouldn't go to college or university. If they were lucky, they would become a laborer. The term was paralyzing and killed any sense of self-confidence and ambition. Educational psychologists, um, waving the um, um, bushel quoted in the documentary, highlighted the cultural bias in IQ tests. At the time. The Ventor Griffith, sorry, Tre, uh, Ventor Griffith summarizes the point quote. For example, one question asked what the word tap meant in the uk. In the UK the word means an instrument that releases running water or gas from a pipe. Yet in the Caribbean, a tap is known or meant to many on the islands as a pipe. Black children understood what the tap meant in concept, but not the terminology. Yet they were made to feel inferior where many questions were asked of them that reflected specific englishness, which they had no frame of reference For Gus John highlighted the relevance of the language. He said a key element was language. If you grew up in a Jamaican household, you would use Jamaican English Patal. Creole. The problem most Caribbean students had was because it was a derivative of standard English. Nobody believed that black children needed language support. Let me be clear on why the system of categorizing and selecting the subnormal was deeply flawed. Highlighting the various aspects of racism, classism and discriminatory, inherent in its, uh, impli, uh, impli, uh, inflammation. Racism. The disproportionate representation of black Caribbean children in the category of educationally subor points to systemic racism within the education system. Because this classification overlooked cultural differences. Language barriers unfairly labeling these children as inferior based on their ethnicity rather than assessing their true potential. Classist Children from lower ec socioeconomic backgrounds were often unfairly targeted by the system. Socioeconomic status heavily influenced access to quality education, resources and opportunities for enrichment. Consequently, children from disadvantaged backgrounds were more likely to be labeled subnormal due to systemic barriers. They faced Discriminatory practices. The criteria used for identifying sub normal children were often discriminatory and subjective. Standardized testing such as IQ assessments were culturally biased and failed to account for diverse learning styles and abilities. Furthermore, the decision-making process was often influenced by preconceived notions and stereotypes about race, class, and ethnicity. Dubious scientific principles, the reliance on IQ scores as a primary determinant of a child's ability was flawed. Oversimplified intelligence is complex, multifaceted. It cannot be accurately captured in a single numeric value. Moreover, the belief that intelligence is fixed and immutable disregards the potential for growth and development in every child. I shall return to this later. What would the long-term consequences labeling children are, subor has had profound and detrimental effects on their educational traject trajectories and life opportunities. It perpetuates low expectations, limited aspirations contributing to a self-fulfilling prophecy where children internalize the belief that they are incapable of academic success. If a child is sent to a special school for children who cannot learn, how is this going to help a child To Learn? Instead of teaching us to read and write, we would taught to wash ourselves. I was taught to wash children who had severe education learning difficulties. The teacher sat with us at a dinner table to teach us how to eat with a knife and fork and spoon. When I left school, I could eat like the Queen of England, but I couldn't read or write or talk like her Maisie Barrett. The warmup report, The system of special educational provision, was reviewed in 1978 by the Committee of Inquiry into the education of handicapped children and young people known as the Warnock report. After the committee's chair, Mary Warnock, that report called for the abolition of the existing statutory categorization of different types of handicap children. It argued that the term children with learning difficulties should be used in the future to describe both those children who are currently characterized as educationally subor and those with educational difficulties who are often at present the concern of remedial services. Now, the Warnock report acknowledged in one paragraph that there had been concern in recent years that a disproportionate number of children from West Indian families had been placed in special schools or classes, but it didn't devote much time to race. The report led to the enactment of the 1981 Education Act In the new system created under this act. The term educational subnormal was abandoned. Instead, the terminology used was special educational needs for children who were who needed special educational provision. The local educational authority had to drop a statement, a statement of their special educational needs. You may have heard the expression has a child been statement. The local educational authority was responsible for providing the special educational provision set out in the statement there was presumption in favor of educating children with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Uh, there was a considerable decline in the number of children in special schools during the eighties and nineties, but a gradual increase in the proportion of children identified as having special educational needs and given statements. The 1981 Act was later consolidated in the Education Act of 1996. Meanwhile, the education system in England has gone through several more phases or reform. There was the Education Reform Act of 1988 that delegated management powers from local authorities, uh, to individual schools and introduce the concept of the national curriculum. More recently, there's been a march towards privatization of state education in England. The new labor government introduced academies, state funded private schools that were independent of the local, um, authorities control after the change of government in 2010, Michael Gove, the education secretary at the time, pushed through the Controversial Academies Act, which as Gillard explains, quote, remove local authorities powers to veto a school becoming an academy dispensed with parents and teachers' legal right to oppose such plans and allowed outstanding schools to fast track. The process of becoming academies gave also introduced free schools, another type of state funded private school that was independent of local authority control. As of January, 2023, more than 80% of secondary schools in England are academies or free schools, as are more than 40% of primary schools. The ACADEMIZATION is extremely controversial as the National Education Union states, academization is driving down staff pay terms and conditions, alienating communities, and has caused the fragmentation of the education system. Instead of state schools being run by democratically accountable local authorities, many are now run by private bodies called Multi Academy Trusts. Thi this was part of a raft of ideological motor motivated reform spearheaded by gove, including the wide range in changes to the curriculum. Now, time doesn't permit me to get into the details of all of this, which could be an entire lecture series in itself, and it would be perhaps better to be delivered by teacher rather than a barrister. The special system of, uh, the system of special educational provision was comprehensively reformed by the Children and Families Act 2014, which placed replaced statements of special education needs with education, health, and care plans. The 2014 act looks very progressively on its face, but due to decades of swinging cuts to local government funding, local authorities often lack the resources to fulfill their statutory obligations to disabled children. Many disabled children are denied adequate education and care, and this has led to a proliferation of litigation by parents against local authorities. And in some cases, the high court has had to make mandatory orders requiring a local authority to perform its legal duties. The sustained overrepresentation of black children in the public test system and black people subject to compulsory admission to psychiatric units. Some statistics black men make up 12% of the UK prison population, yet they are less than 1% of the population as a whole. Uh, that's home office statistic in 2000. This pattern of overrepresentation is not evident in the data reporting on permanent exclusion of black boys from school. Yet the Times educational supplement reported in 19 8 98 that black boys were 15 times more likely to be excluded from school. Meanwhile, racial inequality in education continues to persist. Although the picture is somewhat complicated, in particular, black Caribbean children and Roma children are more likely than any other group to be excluded from school. A September 20th, 2006 prior, um, priority review by the Department of Education and Skills highlighted large disparity in the rates of school exclusion. The average for all school, uh, for all pupils was five, just over 5%, but for black Caribbean pupils, it was nearly 10%. For Irish traveler children, it was 11.5%, and for Roma children it was nearly 12%. Interestingly, the the rate was much low for black African pupils at only 4.43%. 15 years later, an analysis by the Guardian in March, 2021 found that in some parts of England, the exclusion rate for black Caribbean pupils was five times higher than their white peers. Again, similar trends are seen in in respect of Roma children, Roma children. In Sheffield, the exclusion rate for Roma children was nine times higher than for white pupils. While in Haring Gaye in Bristol, Roman chil Roma children were 10 times more likely to be excluded. Schools are also racialized in, uh, in, in places in, in terms of their deeply held beliefs and expectations. An integral part of the school process and practices. In 1998, Conley's research study provides a cogent example of the ways in which some teacher over disciplined black boys to avoid any perceived threat to school authority. In the classroom management quote, there were many examples going from observations throughout the school year, we are black boys. We would be sent to stand outside the classroom, told to stand up or move in assemblies and be singled out and instructed to stand against the wall, uh, during the, um, but outside the staff room, all during playtime. While black boys were not the only ones to be disciplined in this way, we were significantly overrepresented in the process. Notably, some schools disciplinary policies overtly discriminate against students of color, for example, despite it, it being obviously racially discriminatory. Some schools ban black hairstyles such as braids and camero or cornrows, and in a disgraceful de dereliction of duty, Mr. Justice Lindon recently upheld the legality of the McKayla School Community School's discriminatory policy of banning Muslim prayer. Children with special educational needs are also significantly more likely than not, than non-disabled children to face exclusion. A 2022 study explored the disproportionate exclusion of autistic children who are three times more likely to be excluded from school than children who do not have special educational needs. One driver of exclusion highlighted in the report was the marketization of the English education system as well as governmental pressure in terms of league performance tables with parents noting that the school focused on children who did not, who did well academically. Others highlighted the report included a lack of special educational needs and disability expertise and knowledge. On second stage independent review panels and inaccessible guidance for parents, families, and pupils on exclusion, uh, uh, uh, and review processes. And the fact that reduced budgets for training and pastoral care meant that schools are working within limited resources to support autistic pupils, which put those pupils at greater risk of exclusion. It also highlighted that the rise in the So-called zero tolerance behavior policies is creating school environments where pupils are punished and ultimately exclude for incidents that could and should be managed within mainstream school environment. A 2020 report race Poverty in the school exclusions in London by just for law kids, shows that it remains the case that black children, children who receive free school meals and children with special education needs are excluded at higher rates and that black children can be subject to different disciplinary treatment, racist stereotyping and racist bullying. In short, the English state education system with its focus on League tables exam results, its chronic under resource in and its obsession with discipline and conformity is still failing its children, including disabled children. This needs to change. Now we've looked at the history and the, uh, and the present state of English education. I want to say a little bit more about the subject of race and intelligence. For as long as black children have faced the worst educational outcome, there has been supposed experts who've tried to justify it by certain that black children are simply less intelligent. It's time to engage with and debunk that claim, Graham and Robson in 2004. In their work, the silent catastrophe noted there is a commonplace racist understanding that surrounds the concept of ability, which is based on historical and social construction of black intellectual inferiority. This is located in the unspoken discourses that permeate education institutions and continue to inform popular belief and professional understanding. Further, they note the legacy of enslavement, colonialism and the ideological constructions of race are entered social politic, political and academic institutions during the 18th century and continue to shape longstanding histories of racism in British society. Black communities speak about these powerful societal hierarchies within the notion of know your place, which refers to the way in which racialized structures deny opportunities and resources. In every sphere of contemporary life, black children are often working against teacher expectations that perceive them as having less ability and expectations of bad behavior. In a Carla's natives race and class in the Ruins of Empire in published in 2018, he states that quote, both black and white children generally understand very early that blackness is seno is a synonym for bad and whiteness is synonymous with wealth, power, and beauty. For black children in Britain, our bodies commit the sin of reminding people racialized as white of an uncomfortable truth about how part of this nation became wealthy, that the good old days when white power could roam the earth, unchallenged or rover, they now have to contend with one of their empire's, many legacies, a multi-ethnic mother country. As I mentioned earlier, in the early 20th century, eugenics was an extremely popular idea on both sides of the Atlantic and one that had a significant influence on education. Eugenics was deeply inter intertwined with pseudoscientific racism. In short, eugenics believed that some races were genetically less intelligent than others. It fell somewhat out of favor after the second World War due to its association with Hitler and the Nazis. However, the debate about race and intelligence did not end the context of the debate is the historical difference in IQ scores across different racial groups with Asian and white people on average scoring higher, more highly than black people. The actual size of this difference has changed over time and is contested as we will see for decades, a minority of academics known as hereditary have argued that these racial difference in IQ test performance are primarily genetic in origin. To put it in plain and simple terms, they think that black people are genetically less intelligent than white people. The academics most strongly associated with this hereditary in include Arthur Jensen, Philippe Rushton, Linda, go Fredson, and Richard Lin. Now the debate came to wider public attention when with the publication of the book known as the Bell Curve in 1994, intelligence and the class structure in America, in in American Life by Richard, uh, Herrnstein and Charles Murray. The basic theory of the bell curve was that eight to Q tests accurately measure measured general intelligence and that general intelligence is a stronger predictor of success in life than parental socioeconomic status. Herrnstein and Murray argued that society was becoming stratified along cognitive lines with the emergence of a cognitive elite. They also argued that existing welfare programs had a, uh, a discogenic effect by encouraging low IQ women to have more children, uh, reviving a common argument of early 20th century eugenics. They argued for a series of conservative policies including abolishing affirmative action, limiting immigration, cutting welfare, and one of the most controversial aspects of the book was the authors claim that there are differences in the intelligence between racial groups drawn heavily on the work of Richard Lin. I will come back to that. The bell curve has been widely criticized since its publication by both scholars in the field and by laypeople. Bob Herbert, uh, one of the of the New York Times famously called it a Scarborough piece of racial pornography masquerading a serious scholarship and a gentile way of calling someone the N word. There's an excellent YouTube video by Sean, which debunks the bell curve in detail, criticizing the shoddy science that underlies the work in the book and its reliance from racist sources. However, that video is two and a half hours long. I've only got five minutes left, so I don't have time to recap it in this lecture. I can only recommend that you watch it for yourself. I just want to highlight what I see as some of the most glaring problems with the hereditary, um, thesis. First, it cannot be said with any confidence that IQ tests accurately measure innate intelligence. As we've already seen, intelligent tests are often culturally biased. Indeed, some scholars have argued that a culture free intelligence test is impossible. Performance on intelligence tests can also be affected by the extent and quality of an individual's education. In fact, the bell curve suffers from even deeper problems in this regard because the main data set from Herrnstein and Murray's, which they used to measure intelligence wasn't even an IQ test. It was the armed forces qualification test taken by those surveyed in the national longitudinal study of uses. As academic critics point out at the time, that test includes subjects like trigonometry, so test scores are obviously affected by prior schooling that an individual had. Secondly, there are plenty of environmental factors that can affect the performance of IQ tests and that are not evenly dis um, um, distributed, uh, between the races. For example, we might expect children growing up in poor families to be more likely to face childhood led exposure or inadequate childhood nutrition. Obviously, in our racially unequal society, black children are more likely to grow up poor. Third, when describing black white IQ gap, arians rely on bad science. They often argue and cite Jensen and Rushton that the average gap between black and white IQ is 15 points or one standard deviation. However, that claim was criticized at the time in the same journal by Richard Nesbitt who argued that the Jensen and Russian ride rough shot over the evidence. Other studies suggest that the gap between black and white IQ has in fact narrowed considerably. In 2018, Jenkinson Smith carried out a literature review of 13 studies and concluded that the black white IQ gap has decreased in recent decades in the United States. Smith highlighted that the three studies reached in the opposite conclusion, Murray got Fredson and Russian respect, um, respectively are all seriously flawed. That's obviously important because if black white IQ gap is narrow in over time as the environment changes, then it's quite clearly unlikely to be primarily genetic. Similarly, in his video, Sean criticizes Herrnstein and Murray's reliance on the 1991 meta analysis of 11 studies by the lead in, uh, hereditarian Lynn, which estimates that the ME median black African IQ to B 75. Uh, they use this study to argue that the black white IQ gap applies to black people from Africa and cannot be attributed to American racism. However, shown Dismantles Lynn's paper in forensic detail to mention just a few of the several problems. The majority of Lynn's data came from South Africa under apartheid in which black children were consigned to segregated schools and had a substantially lower quality of education. This data therefore doesn't support Murray's point, also cherrypicked his data from among South African data ignored a test carried out in the high school in Soweto, in which black pupils achieved results slightly above the white norm. Sean also points out glaring errors in Lynn's analysis of an Nigerian study. Sean points out that the study administered the Raven Progressive matrix test and did not report on an IQ score, but Lynn asserts that it had a reported score of 86, which Sean notes to be a typographical error as there were 86 test subjects in the study. Nor was that study representative of Nigerians. It was a small sample of Nigerian factory workers. Sham goes on to make several other criticisms of lin in a similar vein, and time doesn't permit me to go through the sloppy science, which misrepresented the data. I am gonna leave that there and I just want to move on if I can. As you can see, if I hadn't quite given what I think about this hereditary Nonsense, I'm not doing my job properly. Why have I gone on at length about the tangent between race and intelligence? Well, really for two reasons. First and the most obviously, I want to head off any suggestion that the unequal outcomes experienced by black people in the education system are attributable to different innate abilities. As we've seen, the evidence just simply doesn't support that. Rather, the evidence suggests that the gap is environmental in origin and is narrow in over time as the environment changes. One key factor in, in the ENV is that the environment is deep, is the deeply embedded legacy of racial discrimination in our profoundly racist society. Second, I wanna make the point that intelligence testing itself in itself is a very controversial enterprise. A massive uncertainties about what intelligence is, how we measure it, how intelligence tests, uh, correspond with innate ability. And I referred to earlier how culturally bias intelligence tests were used in the post-war decades to misclassify black children as educationally sub normal. While that particular classifi classification is no longer in use, the problems with intelligence tests and still remain this matters because the education systems around the world still use intelligence tests. Some of them still use intelligence tests to classify children. For example, as I mentioned earlier, the 11 plus still use in some parts of England to select children for grammar schools. It should be obvious from what I'm saying, that segregating children on the basis of intelligence tests is a highly questionable idea. Let me come to my conclusions, so it's time to wrap up the lecture and time for me to go. We've learned that the English education system has long been profoundly discriminatory on the basis of race and disability in class, and while there has been much institutional change, a number of problems still remain. So how should we change things? Well, first, I believe we should end the marketization of education abolish school, uh, league table, stop measuring schools by performance, by exam results. We should end the toxic culture of competition between schools. Second, we should reverse the academization and return to all state schools to local authority control. Third, we should fund schools and local education authorities properly so that they can provide particularly disabled children with support They need to thrive in school and perform their statutory duties that they already have existing under law. Fourth, zero tolerance schools disciplinary policy policy should be abolished. We should expect schools to cope and be able to cope in managing difficult behaviors rather than excluding children, particularly disabled children and black children for an easier life. Fifth, all forms of academic selection in schools should be abolished. These measures would not magically fix all the problems overnight, I know that, but they would go some way towards establishing an education system in which black disabled children from um, other social classes have fairer opportunities. But we cannot ignore the elephant in the room. Mark a 14-year-old talking about his school life experience stated, we can't change it. When you get a cab, they ask you for the money first. When you walk past a white person in a car, they lock their doors. I hate it when you walk past a white lady on the street and she starts clutching her bag, go into the shops, they follow you. They think bad about us because they think we black people have no brains. They think all black people are the same. They think every black person is a criminal. The thing that has to be confronted is staring us in the face as Graham and Robinson put it, the denial of racism. Racism in social policy formation processes, particularly within educational authorities, has created a schism between institutions and community generated concerns. This means that the education authorities have failed to engage black communities and students in developing strategies and finding community focused solutions to engage young black people. Educators must listen to young black people and their experiences in school as a first step in tackling institutional racism. My friends, we need to embrace the truth. Thank you As ever, a compelling and passionate argument. I mean, it is, is there anywhere in this country that you've come across that's doing it well, that has reversed this awful legacy that you've described? Uh, I'm not saying that the wrong pockets where things aren't being done well, and I'm not an educator, um, confession, but what I do know as a lawyer, and I know many of my colleagues, the problem, particularly the problem relating to that aren't unjustifiable. The disproportionate levels of exclusion, particularly of young black boys is still happening today. The problem remains. So I focus on the problem and trying to fix the problem than the successes. Uh, a question, as an educator to yourself, um, what would you like us to do differently? Um, I don't mean what the existence of academies we had no say in that. That's above our primary, uh, when it comes to what is within our pre grade, uh, actually teaching in university, college and schools. How would you like us to do things differently in regards to disabled and ethnic minority pupils? Thank you. I think it's gotta start with recognizing that there's a problem. Um, and this is a theme that I've come back to that's run through several of my lectures. You can't fix a problem unless there's a recognition that there's a problem. And particularly when it comes to the over discipline of black children, I don't think that the problem has been properly embraced because when you look at the statistics, um, you know, I was speaking to one child who was recounting to me what the child wasn't making out that they were an angel, but they were saying, what I do is being done by my white peers, but the first people to be picked on to be sent out the class is always the black child. Now, you know, it's been some time since I've been in school, but that's a common experience that was in school when I was in school. And I'm sure if I was to, uh, ask within this audience whether that experience still exists, I'm sure that I would receive, uh, an indication that it still exists. So when you ask what should educators do, educators starting in the classroom, there has to be an acknowledgement. I'll give you an example. In the last couple of years, judges that there, there's been a disproportionate number of, um, black defendants being, um, sentenced more harshly than the white counterparts, um, for similar crimes sim you know, similar offenses. Don't take my word for it. This, these are government statistics and you just need to look at the, uh, David Laie review, which was commissioned by the conservative government in 2017. You just look at these stats to speak for themselves, the disproportionality of the treatment of, um, um, black and uh, uh, minority ethnic people in the criminal justice system. Now, what the judges have done is to begin to recognize that there's a problem. How have they done that? You know, if you ask most judges, most judges say, oh, I'm not racist. I, you know, I I wouldn't, um, you know, I just, um, sentence the person in front of me regardless of the color of their skin. That's what, that's what every judge would say to you. However, there's a problem.'cause the, the statistics don't lie. And so what the, what, um, the judges have done, they've introduced, um, in the judicial sentence, guidelines a check. You need to be aware. So all judges are remind you need to be aware of these statistics when you come to sentence. So before you punish, you need to be aware that this is, you know, that these statistics are here. And I think some, I think educators need to, similarly, particularly when it comes to disciplining, be aware they need to, they need to check themselves. You need to be aware that black children in particular, uh, are disproportionately represented. And nobody's gonna tell me that there's something innate among, amongst black kids, which makes a black child more naughtier than a white child. I'm, I'm not gonna accept that. I, um, my name is Na. I'm, uh, I'm an Asian Muslim. So I was wanting to check, and more importantly, to learn from your experience, a very significant number of Asian Muslim children are now victims of the Prevent program. And I was wondering in your list of conclusions, where would that fit given the experiences of your community, <affirmative> particularly now, and the example that you gave about a person being naughty. There was the example of someone who was asked a question in physics. I, I think, I think the answer is it's very similar. You know, why are, um, teachers, educators put in young Muslim children for, you know, um, as part of the prevent program, it's exactly the same, same issue. It's being aware that there's a problem being mindful of it. That has to be the starting point because some, some say some use the word unconscious bias. I like, I prefer institutional, structural racism, which is impacting the most of this decision. And, and recognizing that there's a significant problem. There's one, one issue that I didn't touch upon tonight, and, um, as you can see, I'm running over. And that's the ification of black children. And you know, for some reason, uh, you know, you've, they say black don't crack. But the fact is, when when we're children, our children are seen as adults. A a and you know, you, you just need to think back, what was it a year, maybe just over a year ago, the issue Child Q in, in Hackney, who was, you know, a young black girl on her period, and the teachers allowed her to be searched by police without an appropriate at, would that have happened to a white child? You know, and this is a problem, um, and it's a theme that are touched upon something about our black bodies when it comes to law enforcement. Oh, we're the, we're big, we're dangerous, we're scary with, we're the strongest. That we need more force used than us to restrain us, to hold us down. And all of these beliefs, this mindset touches upon and impinges upon our children. Thank you. Thank you once again, Leslie.