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The issues

Each child in Britain deserves to experience dignity, belonging and joy in education. But Black children have historically been denied this right.

  • 95% of young Black people have heard and witnessed racism at school. 49% of young Black people feel racism is the biggest barrier to attaining success in school, while 50% say the biggest barrier is teachers’ perceptions of them – for example, being seen as ‘too aggressive’.11
  • Data released following the report into the Child Q case showed 75% of children subjected to strip searches by the Metropolitan Police from 2019-2021 were from ethnically diverse backgrounds. The figures could be higher, as data only covered searches carried out after arrest.12
  • In 2020, the largest exam board in the country did not include any books by a Black author among set texts for its GCSE English literature syllabus.13
  • Just over 1% of secondary school teachers come from Black African or Black Caribbean backgrounds. Only 0.7% of headteachers identify as Black Caribbean and 0.2% of headteachers identify as Black African.15

Despite persistent barriers, more Black students are accessing higher education and attending university. In 2019, 45% of Black 18-year-olds across England were accepted into higher education, up from 28% in 2010.16


Black Caribbean pupils are three times more likely to be permanently excluded .

BEO will work with partners and allies to address systemic racism in the education system, to ensure all Black children and young people can fulfil their potential.

Look out for the launch of our own report looking at the experiences of Black communities in the UK.