What is the Rampton Report?

A report on The West Indian Community highlighted many concerns by the Commons Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration.

These concerns were regarding the lack of academic performance of West Indian children. The committee recommended that the government make a high-level inquiry into the causes of this underachievement. 

As a result, the committee had to review the schools and the educational needs to make the most effective recommendations. 

As a direct response to this report, the 1981 Rampton report came into place.

The report was significant for highlighting racism as a factor in poor educational performance. A finding in the report was that urgent action was needed for failing children in the education system. Results of the cause of this underachievement’s was:

  • Racism in school and society.
  • Linguistic difficulties.
  • Discrimination causing a lack of motivation.
  • Schools did not understand the pressure from the community and home environments.
  • School books lack culture. 

The report also discussed IQ scores as it claimed the average IQ scores between West Indian and white children was related to differences between them in matters of socio-economic status.

Of course, there were many more factors, but the report recommended changes in the curriculum, such as:

  • The school should provide books which support and educate about cultures. 
  • Help with reading and language skills.
  • Funding.
  • Statistics.
  • Clear discipline procedures and more.

However, the members of his multiracial committee had strong views and didn’t agree with Rampton’s ideas on why the children were underachieving.

Due to this controversy, Rampton was forced to resign from being replaced by Michael Swann.

This was when the Swann report came into place.

The full report can be read on the Education England website here.

What is the Swann Report?

The Swann report was published in 1985, four years after the Rampton Report.

Swann built this report on findings of the Rampton Report and consists of over 800 pages. This report’s priority was to identify weaknesses in the education system affecting pupils of West Indian origin.

Unlike the Rampton report, which inferred that IQ scores between white and west Indian children are due to socioeconomic status, the Swann report concluded that IQ is not a significant factor in underachievement.

It was the racial prejudice in society and within the education system and the social class as clearly many ethnic minority members are disadvantaged economically.

The report stated the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the teaching profession is a matter of great concern. It also mentioned how multicultural understanding must permeate all aspects of a school’s work in order to achieve inclusion in education for all children.

It also recognised that racism needed to be dealt with through broader legal and political measures.

It argues that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure equality of treatment and opportunities.

Page 10 of the report states:

“The fundamental change needed is a recognition that the problem… is not just how to educate the children of the ethnic minorities, but how to educate all children.”

This is how the concept of ‘education for all’ came to place. It was to give all children the best education and help everyone understand society’s shared values.

The full report can be read on the Education England website here.

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