Professor David Gillborn - The ‘Betrayal of White Pupils’ (and other lies we’re told about race and education)

21 March 2018 6.00 - 7.00pm Keele Hall - The Salvin Room
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In April 2016 the front page of the Daily Mail, Britain’s most politically influential newspaper, was dominated by the headline ‘Betrayal of White Pupils’. The subheading stated that ‘By 16, white British children lag behind 12 ethnic groups’.

The story is part of a long running campaign, waged across the mass media and mainstream politics, that presents White people as race victims, ignored by the ‘elite’ and treated as second-class citizens in the face of multiculturalism and political correctness. In education, this lie has been perpetrated by both main political parties and has led to education policy that not only ignores racist inequality, but actively reinforces and worsens the situation.

Contrary to the popular assumption that racism is an occasional aberration seen at times of exceptional stress or social upheaval, this lecture argues that racism is a deeply-rooted characteristic of education in England. The Brexit vote and the election of President Trump have raised the profile of popular racism but at a fundamental level institutional racism and the routine privileging of White people, especially the White middle class, never went away. Migration and social integration are frequently cited as major challenges facing society but this misunderstands the problem; a greater challenge is whether we can move the White majority from its position of assumed dominance and superiority. 


David Gillborn is Professor of Critical Race Studies and Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) at the University of Birmingham. He is best known for his research on racism in educational policy and practice and, in particular, for championing the growth of Critical Race Theory (CRT) internationally. He is founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal ‘Race Ethnicity and Education’ and twice winner of the ‘Book of the Year’ award by the Society for Educational Studies (SES). His international honours include the Derrick Bell Legacy Award, from the Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA), for career accomplishments that demonstrate ‘personal courage and professional commitment to supporting and advocating race equality in education,’ and membership of the Kappa Delta Pi Laureate Chapter, which is limited to 60 living educators who have made a significant and lasting impact on the profession of education. David is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His most recent books are ‘The Colour of Class’ (co-authored with Nicola Rollock, Stephen J. Ball and Carol Vincent, 2015) and ‘Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education’ (co-edited with Edward Taylor and Gloria Ladson-Billings, 2016). 

Refreshments will be available in the Great Hall, adjacent to the Salvin Room from 5.30pm onwards.

This lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.

For Further Details Contact

Steve Kilner or Jo Flynn: +44 (0)1782 7 34449 / 34434

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