The Men and Boys Coalition has called on the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to explain why it has failed to include the numerous and now well-known equalities issues affecting men and boys its recent three-year strategic plan.
In its response, the Coalition highlighted the full range of issues addressed by Coalition members that warrant attention from the EHRC — including, but not limited to, the disproportionate rate of male suicide, lower male life expectancy and unequal focus on men’s and women’s health, lack of provision for male victims of domestic violence and barriers faced by fathers — but the Coalition also placed particular emphasis on the continued neglect of boys’ educational underachievement.
The Coalition stated: “The most significant omission is under a combination of Strategic Aim 1 (Priority 2) and more so Strategic Goal 2 (To remove the barriers to opportunity, so that people’s life chances are transformed).
“This area is the under-performance of boys and young men in the UK education system, and the systematic lack of public policy, initiatives and interest at both a national level and also with the whole education system/establishment to address this. There are individual schools, teachers and colleges who are of course undertaking positive work but this is based on individual teacher or school endeavour rather than a whole system approach.
“It has come to the point where rather than failing to include this within its three year-strategy (unless of course the Commission now includes this), the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has now to explain to the public why it continues to fail to seek to address this area. This is given the impact it has not just on the individuals, their families and communities but also on wider society and the country as a whole. The areas included in the proposed strategy are of course all worthy and should be included, but to continue to fail to address such a fundamental area of boys and younger mens’ educational underachievement is a concern.”