Agenda item

Raising the Achievement of Black Caribbean Boys in Brent Schools

The paper seeks agreement from the Schools Forum to allocate funding to raise the Achievement of Black Caribbean Boys in Brent schools.

Minutes:

Brian Grady introduced the report which sought agreement to allocate funding to raise the Achievement of Black Caribbean Boys in Brent schools which was below the national average. The issue had been discussed by Brent Council’s Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee in 2016 and although attainment had improved in 2017, it had remained well below that of pupils nationally at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1, 2 and 4. A Black Caribbean Strategy Group, led by Brent Schools Partnership (BSP) Specialist Centre for Black Caribbean Achievement, had been set up and had been meeting regularly since September 2017. Furthermore, a strategic framework had been developed which set out detailed actions to be taken by a range of stakeholders to strengthen capacity and expertise to raise achievement and support parents to contribute to their children’s learning (for details, please see Appendix 3 on pages 23-25 of the Agenda pack).

   

Kay Charles, in her capacity of Chair of the BSP, highlighted that the proposal outlined in the report had been based on evidence-based approaches and information which had been collected from a wide range of sources. The paper reflected BSP’s belief that Brent should be leading development and innovation related to strategies to raise the attainment of Black Caribbean students and schools had to be supported to build the necessary capacity to deliver this. She explained that the proposal had been developed in such a way that it was inclusive of all schools in Brent and it would be based on peer support, aimed at maximising resources available and creating sustainable capacity for the whole Borough (for information about individual components of the project, please see paragraph 3.14 on page 13 of the Agenda pack).

 

Members of the Forum welcomed the report. They enquired how impact would be monitored in the aftermath of the initial two-year period. Farzana Aldridge (Strategic Director, Brent Schools Partnership) stated that the BSP would manage the programme and regular updates would be provided to the Schools Forum on impact.

   

In relation to funding, it was noted that Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) reserves would be used for two academic years as set out in recommendation 2.1 of the report (page 11 of the Agenda pack) which would be in line with the decisions made by the Schools Forum at the meeting on 21 February 2018. However, Mr Grady acknowledged that a sustainable approach had to be secured and that this had informed the detail of the proposal.

 

A Member of the Schools Forum raised the issue of schools not being willing to share data on Black Caribbean Boys. Mr Grady responded that the Local Authority would explore solutions to address information sharing barriers and an update would be provided to Forum.

 

RESOLVED that:

(i)            The contents of the Raising the Achievement of Black Caribbean Boys in Brent Schools report, be noted;

 

(ii)          The following funding for two academic years to deliver the actions to raise the attainment of Black Caribbean boys as set out in paragraph 3.14 of the report be agreed:

·         2018-19 of £359,500

·         2019-20 of £205,250

 

(iii)         Six-monthly reports on the progress in the use and deployment of the allocated spend, and the resulting impact on securing improvement for this group of pupils be provided to the Schools Forum; and

 

(iv)         An update on potential solutions to address information sharing barriers be provided to Schools Forum.

 

Supporting documents: