Black Children Labelled “Subnormal” Sent to “Special” Schools in 1970s

In 1960s and 70s Britain, hundreds of Black children were labelled as "educationally subnormal",
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In 1960s and 70s Britain, hundreds of Black children were labelled as "educationally subnormal", and wrongly sent to schools for pupils who were deemed to have low intelligence.

For the first time, some former pupils have spoken about their experiences for a new BBC documentary.

In the 1970s, at the age of six, Noel Gordon was sent to what was known at the time as an "educationally subnormal" (ESN) boarding school, 15 miles (24km) from his home. "That school was hell," says Noel. "I spent 10 years there, and when I left at 16, I couldn't even get a job because I couldn't spell or fill out a job application."

About a year before joining the ESN school, Noel had been admitted to hospital to have a tooth removed. He was given an anaesthetic, but it transpired that Noel had undiagnosed sickle cell anaemia, and the anaesthetic triggered a serious reaction.

Noel says the resulting health issues led to him being perceived as having learning disabilities and being recommended for a "special school". Yet no evidence or explanation of his disability was ever given to him or his parents.

Read rest of story here.

Video discussing the "Subnormal" scandal can be seen here.

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