‘Boys on Track’: Improving support for white FSM-eligible and black Caribbean boys in London

LKMco and the Greater London Authority (GLA) launch ‘Boys on Track’, new research looking at how support for white free school meal-eligible and black Caribbean boys across London can be improved.

The GLA commissioned this research because attainment among London’s most disadvantaged young people lags an average of 12 months behind their more advantaged peers, having an adverse effect on these young Londoners’ life chances. Two of the largest groups at risk of educational underperformance in London are black Caribbean and free school meal-eligible white boys.

Seven key areas for action

LKMco’s new research draws on extensive literature reviews, as well as a consultation with practitioners, experts and young people. The stakeholders we spoke to, and the existing research evidence we reviewed, emphasised the need for support across a range of areas, including academic progress, social and emotional wellbeing, and careers education and guidance. Particularly in the London context, where nearly all schools are good or outstanding, stakeholders identified that the focus for action must move beyond classroom teaching alone.

It identifies seven key ‘areas for action’, which will help build on excellent work already taking place across the capital in early years settings, schools, post-16 provision, and youth settings.

These seven areas are:

  1. Enhancing pupils’ emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  2. Working with parents and families, involving them in their children’s education.
  3. Securing access to high quality early years provision.
  4. Raising teachers’ expectations and addressing their biases.
  5. Recruiting and retaining a more diverse teaching workforce.
  6. Enhancing access to work experience opportunities, careers guidance, and support into employment.
  7. Encouraging peer support among young people.

The seven areas are not ordered by their importance; they are interlinked, and work on one is likely to benefit the others. Furthermore, approaches that would support outcomes among black Caribbean and white free school meal-eligible boys will be beneficial for all children and young people in London.

Read the full report

From a blog post by Will Millard, one of the report’s authors.

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