Best Practice

Supporting vulnerable learners: Aspiration & wellbeing

The statistics tell us that Black African Caribbean children face many barriers to their education and wellbeing. Continuing her series, Clare Stafford looks at the challenges and what schools might be able to do to tackle these barriers

The majority of children from African Caribbean communities thrive and achieve in school and in life. However, for many years, national statistics have pointed to an over-representation of Black boys being excluded and a higher likelihood of Black men being placed in secure mental health settings and being diagnosed with serious mental health difficulties.

Yet studies indicate that Black boys appear less likely to present with symptoms of mental ill-health than their peers up to age 11. So what goes wrong? Discussions with young men provide vital insights for schools and other services to bring about change.

Lorraine Khan is an associate at the Centre for Mental Health and co-author of the centre’s 2017 report Against the Odds about three community projects in Birmingham aiming to improve the resilience of young African Caribbean men.

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