22 September 2015
Education has long been a key site in the struggle for racial and ethnic equality in Britain. Seen as both a mechanism for social mobility and a means of cultural integration and reproduction, schools (as institutions) and schooling (as a pratice) lie at the heart of the pursuit of a successful future for multi-ethnic Britain.
30 years on from The Swann Report (DES, 1985), which argued 'Education for All', issues of racial and ethnic inequality in our schools are as pertinent as ever. This collection raises important questions about the way that discourses about educational success both work to exclude and marginalise some pupils, while simulatenously (but often only temporarily) privileging others. It also insists, furthermore, that educational success for minority ethnic groups also needs to address broader issues - for example, cultural capital, role modelling and the transition from school to university or work - that affect not just children themselves, but broader minority ethnic families and communities, and our vision for a more inclusive and fairer society.
The papers should be read alongside our recent examination of Higher Education in Britain, Aiming Higher (Alexander and Arday, 2015), as part of a broader exploration of the changing face of education and its role in perpetuating and addressing racial and ethnic inequality in Britain today.