In brief

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
Here There and Everywhere: Belonging, identity and equality in schools.

By Robin Richardson (for Derbyshire Advisory and Inspection Service)

Trentham Books pound;13.99

This is an intriguing book: part curriculum guide (subject links are constantly made); part management handbook (it indicates policies and procedures); part anthology (it includes more than 60 brief quotations on justice and equality from prominent writers and thinkers).

The book emerged from a series of projects on racism and prejudice organised by Derbyshire LEA's advisory and inspection service. The running theme is "Here, There and Everywhere", so this is a resource for all schools, not just those in Derbyshire. As it says: "Issues of belonging, identity and equality are here, there and everywhere in every school."

One starting point is an account of a powerful piece of drama dealing with a complicated case of racism in school. Commissioned for local schools by the education authority and presented by the theatre company Actorshop, the play retains its power even as a second hand description. Among "heart-stopping moments" identified by audience members at the original production is: "The mother's use of the word 'nigger' and the devastating shock this caused throughout the audience."

This is an excellent, thought-provoking, no-punches-pulled resource that insists there are no easy answers, and yet manages to attach some handles to an extremely intractable problem.

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