Local charity shows that long-term investment connecting corporate mentors with underprivileged students ensures social mobility in London’s Afro-Caribbean youth

London, October 17, 2013:  Ten years ago, the headlines were black students in the UK are falling behind their white and Asian peers.

Students celebrate after a successful day at J.P. Morgan

Students celebrate after a successful day at J.P. Morgan

Only 39 per cent of black pupils achieved 5+ A*-C GCSE grades and black pupils were four times more likely to be expelled from schools than pupils from any other racial groups.

When African & Caribbean Diversity (ACD) launched its Mentoring and Enrichment Programme in 2003, it understood that to combat these trends, the organisation would need to provide an early and long-term investment into the lives of every student.

“You can’t just have more programmes,” says Brenda King, Chief Executive of ACD. “You have to have mentoring and guidance, especially from individuals who work in industries students feel are unattainable.”

By providing corporate mentors, mainly from the legal and financial sectors, throughout their secondary schooling, 95% of ACD students have continued onto post-16 education with 71% of ACD students entering university, and 27% attending the top 24 universities in the UK.

Most of ACD’s alumni are in employment, with over 60% gaining employment in highly competitive graduate recruitment programmes where black British citizens are greatly underrepresented.

To celebrate its success, ACD is hosting a 10-year Anniversary Celebration at the Bank of England on 7th November 2013. The day will commence with a policy discussion on “The Importance of Mentors and Apprenticeships” in equipping young people for the world of work and conclude with a celebratory evening reception hosted by Lord Morris of Handsworth – Former Non-Executive Board Member of the Bank of England. Interested participants can register here:

“We can raise attainment,” says King. “Students need to know that they can be and do more than what society expects from them.”