Unemployment (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
February 26, 2014
Question By: 
James Cleverly
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor



Mr Mayor, whilst having regard to the statistics that Assembly Member Arnold put forward about the unemployment rate amongst the black communities in London, I would urge you to look at the experience of the London Development Agency (LDA) in its unsuccessful attempts to target, specifically, certain ethnic groups at a certain age in their development and I would urge you to concentrate on doing everything that you are able to do to improve the academic success rates of people within that particular group.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Unemployment (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Unemployment (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Absolutely right.


James Cleverly AM:  My experience on the Board of the LDA for a number of years was there was a huge difficulty in spending money, effectively turning around what was basically and under attainment at the educational level.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, I absolutely agree with that, James, but the under‑attainment in education is again very complex.  It is not just a question of the failure of the schools.  I do not blame bad teaching necessarily.  When you look at the backgrounds of these kids and the difficulties they face in their lives, there are a huge range of things.  That is why we set up all the things that we did.  That is why we have the Mayor’s Fund for London there to support early years, to intervene to support reading groups for young kids, to try to get them off to the best possible start.  If you look at what is happening in London, even in the groups that are most vulnerable, even in the groups that have traditionally been falling behind - as Jennette describes - actually you are seeing amazing levels of success.  We should sometimes talk about that more than the failures.


If you look at what is happening in some of these communities, in some of these schools in inner London they are knocking spots off schools in the rest of the country.  That is a big change from how London was when I was living here as a kid in the 1970s when basically London schools were thought to be worse on average than the rest of the country.  London schools are now thought on average to be better.  That is a great thing and we need to be building on the achievements of those schools and of those teachers.