The school performance of boys of Black Caribbean heritage remains a key priority for Brent Council, according to a new report.

Its community and wellbeing scrutiny committee heard how this group remains significantly below the national average, despite an overall improvement.

The report noted that several initiatives have been put forward, all of which have been widely-supported by school leaders, to address these issues.

Funded by more than £560,000 from the council’s Schools Forum, a two-year programme includes extra training for teaching and governors, and the appointment of ‘Black Caribbean Achievement Champions’ in every school.

“It’s about exposing them to and navigating that pathway – showing people that there are things you can achieve,” said Martine Clark, head teacher at Byron Court Primary School in Wembley.

Cllr Promise Knight said her husband, who is of Black Caribbean heritage, left school with one ‘C’ at GCSE level before returning to higher education.

She explained that things need to be clearer in all aspects of boys’ lives, noting that “parents don’t always know what educational participation looks like”.

She added that she hopes to see significant improvements in four years’ time, given that there has been little progress against the national picture.

The current approach forms part of the council’s borough plan for 2019-2023.

Gail Tolley, strategic director for children and young people, pointed out that, while other groups – such as boys of Somali and Eastern European heritage – also require extra focus, they often “catch up” by the time they leave school.

The report also examined the number of exclusions for Black Caribbean boys, which is “significantly over-represented” at schools in Brent.

This was also seen as a key area to address, with Rose Ashton, head teacher at Chalkhill Primary School, describing exclusions as “a last resort”.