The colonial era of the United Kingdom essentially made the country a focal point for immigration by people from all over the world seeking entry into the western world. While the earliest black settlers in the UK were entertainers to the Royal families. Later the slave trade swelled their numbers that reached 14000 by the 1700s.In 1945 the minority population numbered in the low thousands and rose to 1.4 million in the 70's.The census report published in 2003, claims that minority ethnic groups account for 6.7% of the British population. Of the 4 million ethnic minority people living in Britain, African Caribbeans number 500,00 and are the second largest population among the minorities.(http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/uk/2002/race/short_history_of_immigration.stm; Peach C)While on the one hand Britain needed the labour for industry and people were lured in by employment in the land, "they were been brought up to revere," social, political and economic discrimination was an unexpected tragedy for the immigrants.African Caribbeans in Britain have found to be underachievers in the field of education in Britain. While statistics to prove these facts are methodically taken, scientific and sociological studies prove that this disturbing trend is not due to any innate faulty biological mechanism rather the inability of the British system to offer this ethnic group the optimal conditions for cognitive growth.
African Caribbean children are found to exhibit a skewed learning behaviour. "Baseline'" testing of five year olds show their performance to be at par with other groups. However, by secondary school stage,
"African-Caribbean pupils are between three and six times more likely to be expelled from school."
The success rate in the GCSE examinations (2000) for black students was 37% compared to 50% for white students and 49% for Asians.
"Out of over 22,000 British students who achieved AAA at A-Level in 2002 and entered higher education, only 37 were black."
"For every young black Caribbean male at university in Britain, there are two in prison."
While the black community in Britain did show upward trends in qualification levels (38.8 in 2001 compared to the national average of 19.8%), Caribbeans by contrast continue to be the least qualified ethnic group.(Anjool. 2005)
The OFSTED report 1991 warns that the gaps between academic performance between African Caribbeans and the white population would widen in the next 20 years. While describing the group's potential the guardian asserts that
"Black Caribbean children have an equal, if not higher, ability than white children, yet Black Caribbean boys make the least progress through school."
This is attributed to the fact that Caribbeans live in the most deprived 10% wards in England.
Indirect evidence from the British Social Attitude survey suggests that Britons show equal discriminate against all ethnic minorities. However, Personal surveys indicate that Caribbeans perceive a higher level of discrimination especially in the job market. This may be because there is a general prejudice in the manual labour market and African Caribbeans being normally less qualified are usually a part of the manual labour force. African Caribbeans were also found by British Crime surveys to be having a greater risk of becoming victims to crime.(Heath F A, Mcmohan D.2000-01)