Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL: The Superb Success of Saturday Schools, Part 1

14 May 2021, 6:30 pm–8:15 pm

Saturday Schools

Saturday schools are an example of Garvey's 'do for self' attitude, their successes are often ignored, this session will celebrate them.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sarah Parker Remond Centre / Black History Walks

This is an online event. Zoom link will be sent 30 minutes before the start.

This event is organised by Black History Walks in collaboration with UCL's Sarah Parker Remond Centre

The 1971 publication of 'How the West Indian is made educationally sub-normal in the British school system' by Bernard Coard led to an explosion of Saturday Schools across the country.

With limited resources and in an overtly racist society they achieved outstanding successes but their very existence is ignored by the mainstream far less their achievements.

This special series of lectures will highlight several of these Supplementary Schools . Their founders will recount their successes against all odds in a hostile environment.

In this first session we hear from East and West London. The 34 year old Alkebu-Lan Academy of Excellence based in Leytonstone and the 8 year old Westside Young Leaders Academy based in Harlesden, special guest Nia Imara of the National Association of Black Supplementary Schools will also appear.

We will cover:

  • From exclusion to top of the class, the impact on the youth
  • Self esteem, from zero to hero
  • Finding and holding space to teach
  • Winning the fight for funding
  • Selective media reporting and its effect
  • 'I took my kids there but learned even more than they did'
  • Family transformation via Saturday school attendance
  • How we handled the virus
  • Scholarships, work placements and careers
  • The benefits and sacrifice of teaching in a Saturday School

Plus Q&A.

About the Speakers:

Brother Andrew Muhammad, WYLA
The Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) have a dedicated team who are passionate about producing successful Young Leaders who understand they are born to be great! They provide a range of classes and opportunities designed to bring out the inherent genius of our young people. We sincerely believe that every young person matters and with the right support they can achieve and live their dreams. WYLA is made up of young African and Caribbean boys and girls, from eight to eighteen years of age. The goals of WYLA are to instil the tenets of success in our leaders at an early age, creating an awareness and understanding of the opportunities that exist for their lives.

Sister Kai Ouagadou-Mbandaka, Alkebu-Lan Academy of Excellence
The Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement was founded in January 1987. They are a Liberation Movement based upon an authentic Afrikan-centred Spirituo-Cultural philosophy called Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement and the Nationalist Pan-Afrikanist ideology and legacies of The Most Eminent Prophet and King – His Excellency: Marcus Mosiah Garvey and The Eminent Prophet and King: Omowale Malcolm X. Their mission is expressed in the meaning of our name.