How to tackle racism in education
In the brutal murder of George Floyd, millions of people, in the US, in Britain and across the world, have seen a manifestation of the racism that permeates their own societies.
The global scale of protest, involving millions of people, should be a turning point in the fight against racism. Now is the moment, when awareness is at a new height, that we should work collectively to eradicate racism in all its forms. This task is incumbent on every member of society, and every institution, not least in education.
In demonstrations, Zoom meetings and social media, arguments made by previous generations are taking on a new force: the struggle to change our schools, colleges and universities is central to challenging endemic racism.
We welcome the rising demands for change, made by campaigners, unions and MPs. We call upon the government, the Department for Education and all university, college, school authorities and bodies engaged in education to begin a review that results in the introduction of changes that address the racism that exists in the education sector, blighting the curriculum and contributing to inequalities of outcome.
We call on all educational institutions to:
- Conduct a thorough and rigorous review of every aspect of the structures and practices of institutional life with the aim of eradicating racism from them.
- Provide time for an examination of the curriculum, formal and "hidden", in every subject area.
- Provide time to discuss, agree and publish an explicit anti-racist policy and to monitor its implementation, involving the whole school – staff, pupils and parents.
- Provide time to undertake a rewriting of material and the introduction of practices to address concerns identified.
- Examine the employment practice of institutions towards teaching and non-teaching staff.
Secondary teacher, North West
Assistant headteacher, Leeds
Visiting research fellow, St Mary's University
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