School forced to close by row over 'racist' expulsion: A dispute has broken out over the decision to isolate a boy aged 10 who was expelled last January, then reinstated compulsorily. Mary Braid reports
Friday 21 May 1993
For the past four months he has received no education. In March his mother Pauline, 29, won her appeal against the school's decision. Birmingham City Council ruled that Westminster should reinstate him. The school later lost its appeal to an independent panel to revoke the council ruling.
Ten days ago Westminster was forced to take Isa back but refused to allow him to be taught with other children. He spent the first week sitting in the corridor outside the headmaster's office. The school is appealing to John Patten, the Secretary of State for Education, to uphold its original decision.
Isa's isolation prompted demonstrations by parents, organised by the local African People's Education Group. The organisation is angry at the disproportionate number of black pupils, particularly boys, being expelled from Birmingham schools.
'This is not an isolated case,' Maxine Tapper, the group's founder, said. 'It's just another attempt to make another African boy educationally subnormal.'
Ms Tapper vowed that there would be more demonstrations if the situation was not satisfactorily resolved when Westminster reopens its gates on Monday.
David Neale, Westminster's headteacher, is refusing to comment before Mr Patten hears the appeal. But Chris Keates, general secretary of the Birmingham branch of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: 'Teachers have done everything possible but they have come to the conclusion that the level of disruption caused by this child is harming his education and that of his classmates.'
Birmingham council said the school decided to close to 'create some breathing space' and the council was working hard to resolve the dispute, but the legal position was 'murky'. The council is concerned at the disproportionate number of black boys being expelled from school. The Government says it shares that concern. Between 1990 and 1992 Afro- Caribbeans represented more than 8 per cent of the 6,700 expulsions from British schools yet they made up 2 per cent of the school population.
Leading article, page 21
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Iran nuclear talks: Prospect of deal with Iran pushes Saudi Arabia and Israel into an unlikely alliance
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...
£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Sheridan Maine: Are you an experienced Accounts Assista...
£150 - £190 Daily Rate: Sheridan Maine: One of London's leading water supplier...
£30,000 - £35,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a Management Accountant with...