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Since we had so much ground to cover we divided our work among six sub-committees. We followed up the information they supplied by visiting as many schools as possible, spending between half a day and three days in each school.
The division was: pre-school influences and the role of the school pastoral system, language, the school curriculum and examinations, the transition from school to work, teacher education and non-mainstream education. (Between 1 January 1980 and 31 July 1980 we undertook over 100 days of visiting.) Research 6.
Our aim now is to emphasise what we see as the major issues in the education of West Indian children, to draw attention to good practice, and to put forward practical recommendations on action which should be taken.
We have taken the opportunity of raising throughout the report a number of broader issues on which we have yet to reach firm conclusions, and on which we would welcome further evidence.
In carrying out its programme of work, the Committee is to give early and particular attention to the educational needs and attainments of pupils of West Indian origin and to make interim recommendations as soon as possible on action which might be taken in the interests of this group.' (4) Sub-committees 3. We therefore approached nine LEAs in different parts of the country with varying concentrations of West Indian pupils.Others still assumed that the education of ethnic minority pupils was nothing to do with them.We have no doubt that the issues covered by our work have been and will continue to be relevant to every school and every teacher in this country. Concern about West Indian children and their performance at school was expressed as long ago as the early 1960s.This should be a matter of deep concern not only to all those involved in education but also to the whole community, and we are grateful for this opportunity to put forward our conclusions and recommendations as a matter of urgency.
The fact that this is our interim report and that we shall be looking at the needs of other ethnic minorities as well as West Indians for a further two years, means that as a committee we shall be directly involved in the follow-up to this report and shall be able to take account of the response to our present recommendations in preparing our main report.We would also like to thank all the organisations and individuals who gave oral and written evidence to us. We were asked to submit an interim report on the particular needs and attainments of West Indian children because of widespread concern about the apparent failure of many members of this group throughout the education system. They are a permanent and integral part of our society which has a responsibility to ensure as satisfactory an education for them as for any other British child.