Lewisham Church Partners with Growing Charity to Boost Black Students’ Grades

The Tab London, a vibrant Lewisham church, has partnered with Symphony Schools, a national-focused education initiative, to provide free tutoring in core GCSE subjects to black boys in the London borough.

The church, which is actively engaged in community projects in Lewisham, aims to address the academic shortfall currently seen among black boys at GCSE level. Currently, only 34.6% of black Caribbean pupils attain a grade 5 or above in GCSE English and maths. Working with Symphony Schools, the organisations will collaborate to offer free tuition in English, maths, and science weekly between March and May – a key period for those studying to achieve top grades.

Symphony Schools is an initiative of Symphony Consort, a registered UK charity which focuses on uplifting the community, enriching culture, and reinforcing the church’s role in social transformation. Founded in 2020 and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Symphony Schools is now in its second iteration following a successful pilot in Birmingham.

In this current phase of Symphony Schools, the 12-week programme will provide tutoring to year 10 and 11 students in Birmingham and London. Twelve students in Lewisham will be given the opportunity to receive tutoring by qualified teachers who are specialists in their respective subjects.

The Tab will provide a home for the London arm of the programme. The church will host the students and their mentors at its newly opened headquarters on Lewisham High Street, a stone’s throw away from the church’s state-of-the-art worship centre on the same road. The Tab’s HQ is already equipped with two recently fitted classrooms that it uses for teaching its own children on Sundays. This will now also be the place where the mentoring will take place every week until 7th May 2024.

“As a community church that cares about local people, we want to provide knowledge and information that bring transformation for those who need it the most,” said Pastor Mike White, Senior Pastor at Tab Church London. “We’re pleased to partner with Symphony Schools to roll out this programme in Lewisham. We’re looking forward to hearing the stories of achievement and growth from those taking part.”

The Tab is active as both a church and community partner in Lewisham. It currently runs the largest food bank in the borough as well as supporting other vulnerable groups in the local area.

As part of the Symphony Schools programme, previous students received additional support and unique experiences from partner organisations such as the House of Lords, National Rail and Beats by Dre. The charity is working to expand these partnerships to offer more opportunities to current and future cohorts of students.

“Symphony Schools exists to support young black boys and enable them to maximise their potential and create opportunities so that they and generations ahead can achieve more,” said Seth Pinnock, Founder of Symphony Consort. “There’s a shortfall that needs to be addressed but I wanted to be part of a solution, not just a campaigning voice. We want Symphony Schools to continue to grow and affect change in the lives of many more people, not just in Lewisham but across the country.”

About The Tab Church

The Tab Church is based in the centre of Lewisham in the Southeast of London, England. Under the senior leadership of Pastor Mike White, the church has been transformed into a trans-generational and multi-cultural church with a relevant message expressed in a relative way. www.thetab.org.uk/ 

About Symphony Consort

Symphony Consort, a registered UK charity, focuses on uplifting the community, enriching culture, and reinforcing the church’s role in social transformation. Learn more about their mission and involvement at www.wearesymphony.co.

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