Helping Black Youths To Achieve May Bring £24bn Boost

Tackling underachievement and a “culture of low aspiration” in black boys could boost the economy by £24 billion in the next 50 years, according to a report published today.

The independent “Reach” report, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, suggests a five-point plan for how communities, local agencies, parents and the Government can work together to improve the life chances of young black men.

The document calls for a national role-model programme to encourage positive heroes for young people, rather than those who glamorise crime, guns or gangs. It also recommends the creation of a national umbrella organisation to provide support to the
many small voluntary groups around the country that it says face “significant barriers” to getting government funding.

The report advocates stronger relationships between parents of black boys and schools to improve educational aspirations. It also urges Ofsted to provide greater consistency in the way schools are inspected to ensure that all schools seek to close the academic gap between black and white pupils.

Clive Lewis, chairman of the Reach group, said: “We need to focus effort on raising the aspirations and achievement of black boys and young men to enable them to be more connected and engaged with wider society and more able to make an even greater contribution economically, culturally and politically to Britain.”