The National Association of Black supplementary Schools (NABSS) was set up in March 2007 by Brother Nia Imara with a vision to bring to life a UK wide directory in order to try and encourage more parents from the Afrikan Heritage community to take advantage of the extra supplementary education facilities around the UK and tackle head on any issues with the heavily reported under achievement of Afrikan Heritage children in mainstream education.
He has been a single father for the best part of 14 years and always wanted his children to do far better than himself, as he severely under achieved in school due to a lack of home encouragement, low self esteem and cultural identity confusion.
Brother Nia answered a call for assistance at the Nubia Foundation Saturday School, then based in Stockwell South London, from a local community radio station, Genesis FM. Whilst helping there he learned the importance of extra help and cultural education. When Brother Nia became a father his children started the same supplementary school and attended from the age of 4 and they excelled brilliantly.
When his daughter started year 1 she was 18 months ahead of the rest in her year peer group. On a school trip to the British Museum she knew more about Hieroglyphics than her teacher did. When his son started his reception class 2 years later he ended up 12 months ahead of the rest of his year peer group.
As Brother Nia spoke to other parents around him to find out why their children were not attending supplementary education, the overwhelming response was that they could not find any schools in their area. Brother Nia spoke to Professor Gus John about what happened to NASS (National Association of Supplementary Schools) which fell apart after just 3 years due to funding issues. He decided to find a solution to that problem and create a website and directory dedicated to the promotion of Afrikan heritage supplementary education around the country.
The first NABSS conference was held jointly with Black and Other Home Educators
at the Hackney Museum on June 6th 2009 which was attended by Diane Abbot MP entitled “Home Education and the Role of Black Supplementary Schools”.
From 2010 to 2014 NABSS hosted week long events at Centreprise in Hackney and then Birkbeck University during the month of August with themed events which included events about Autism, youth entrepreneurship, Dementia, the involvement of the Black Churches, STEM, the history of Black sporting heroes, health, nutrition and so much more. The event during 2012 at Centreprise had 65 events in just one week.
NABSS has also provided free all expenses paid weekend to Felixstowe for 4 families, free or reduced fee tickets to the theatre and discounts on books, toys and puzzles.
NABSS now has annual awards for supplementary schools, cultural educators, community activists and
ex students who return to help in the schools. There is a NABSS TV channel on YouTube with interviews with supplementary schools, teachers and parents.