System or stereotype?
brap were commissioned by Birmingham local authority and the city’s strategic partnership to explore the reasons behind the ethnic minority attainment gap, with a view to identifying where resources might be targeted to be most effective. The research – involving over 50 interviews with teachers, pupils, educational practitioners and policy makers – identified a number of major obstacles at all levels of the education system that hindered the development of effective equalities practice. As a result the report made wide-ranging recommendations, looking at the support needs teachers require to develop their equalities competence, from initial teacher training right through to continuing professional development.
One of the report’s key recommendations – that educational progress should be measured as the attainment of five GCSEs (A*-C) including English and maths – was recently adopted by the Department for Education.
Human rights standards
brap were commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support to identify how human rights can be used to improve the service that patients receive. In particular, alongside measures to reduce inequalities for marginalised groups, Macmillan were interested in ensuring individual patients received personalised care – care which addressed their own individual needs, rather than the needs of their community or group. After consulting with patients, doctors, and nurses from a range of different backgrounds, brap devised a human rights standards which professionals can use to measure their progress on achieving outcomes that are valuable to patients.
The human rights framework was warmly received by the Department of Health and forms an important part of their cancer strategy, Improving Outcomes.