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Diane Abbott host major education awards

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18 Oct 2012
THIS YEAR'S London Schools and the Black Child Academic Achievement Awards ceremony will be hosted by Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott.The event, which will take place at the House of Commons next week (October 10), is to be attended by a range of celebrities including Sir Trevor McDonald, chart topping rapper Wretch 32, British Olympic silver-medallist Christine Ohuruogu and Olympic heptathlete Louise Hazel.

Other stars who have confirmed their attendance are soul singer Ruby Turner, former Spurs and England defender Ledley King and BBC News presenter Clive Myrie.There are 24 shortlisted candidates in the categories: GCSE boy, GCSE girl, A Level boy, A Level girl, Higher Education boy and Higher Education girl.

One girl and one boy will be selected as the winner in each category.Candidates are shortlisted on the basis of their academic achievements and also on their wider activities, be it overcoming hardships, taking part in extra-curricular activities, contributing to their school or wider communities, or helping others.

Abbott recently supported Liberal Democrat plans to introduce an ethnic blind test in order to improve test results.Research has shown that pupils with ethnic sounding names are marked down by an average of 12%. Abbott said: “I have longed believed, and there is evidence to prove, that cultural and ethnic biases exist in our education system.

Those with African and Asian sounding names receive lower marks than their counterparts for answering the same question. Black Caribbean pupils are three times more likely to be permanently excluded than their peers.”She added: “The result of these inequalities is seen later on in our young people from ethnic and disadvantaged backgrounds. For example unemployment for young black men is 44%.

It is in this context that I am pleased that the government has decided to take seriously the issue of colour blind testing. This measure could go a long way to reassuring parents of black and Asian children that their children are genuinely being given the same opportunities as everyone else.”

For more information on the London Schools and Black Child Academic Achievement Awards please visit

This article first appeared in the The Voice website on 7/10/12

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