CAN ONE book help black parents to guarantee their child’s success at school?
Former London secondary head-teacher, Neil Mayers releases the long-awaited concluding part of his 2008 instant-classic Gifted At Primary, Failing By Secondary.
Mayers is unapologetic when he states that his first book Gifted At Primary, Failing By Secondary was written in anger.
“I was wasting my time at a parents evening just before the Easter break getting more and more annoyed,” he said.
“I didn’t need a Parents’ Evening. I spoke to the parents of my students every two or three weeks, not once-a-year.
“But I could see so many black students – especially boys, who would do so much better if their parents just implemented some basic changes.”
Mayers took that vexation home, sat at his computer and started typing what he intended to be a double-sided A4 sheet of bullet-point ‘tips’ that he would secretly distribute to black families at his next parents evening. Fortunately, the more he typed the angrier he got.
By the end of the two-week Easter holidays, he had written the book.
“I was a lot calmer writing the sequel Sailing Through Secondary, Considering Uni” says Mayers.
“The first book was about the desperate need to ‘stop the bleeding.’ It was like a step-by-step guide to project-manage the crisis of black student underachievement.
“Sailing Through Secondary, Considering Uni is more about nursing you to health plus a detox plus a life-long mental healthcare plan.”
In short, his first book was written to show black parents how to stop their children from becoming underachievers.
The second book was written to show black parents how to make their children the highest achievers in and out of school – which necessitated the discussion of both raising cultural-esteem and managing the affects of institutionalised racism.