Anti-racism off the cuff

8th October 2010 at 01:00

Teaching teenagers can be a hard job but is one I adore and wouldn't change. I teach in an FE college in North Staffordshire and have done so for six years. I'm in my late 20s with two children under four. I have been tasked with delivering a unit called Citizenship and Diversity. I have been diligently following the prescribed syllabus and have taught it for a few years.

Recently we were discussing the ethnicity data from the 2001 census, including the details on religion and the inevitable questions this raises. Some students were making racist insinuations which I felt I needed to question. So I abandoned my lesson plan and dealt with the issue head on. I feel the only way to tackle racism is to confront it. I asked these youngsters to be open about what was bothering them and I addressed each concern individually.

So what would Ofsted have thought about my abandoned lesson plan, my attempt to tackle racism directly and to get the honest viewpoints of my students? I'm not sure it would have gone down too well. In my PGCE, this issue was very much glossed over.

Jill Salt, Biddulph, Staffordshire.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today