Misrepresented on Macpherson;Letter

2nd April 1999 at 01:00
IF I actually held the views ascribed to me by Sohail Faruqi and Mrs K Rainey (TES, Letters, March 19 "Ignoring racism will never work") they would be right to castigate me.

Of course schools should not ignore racism. They have a crucial role to do whatever they can to counter an appalling social evil. Of course schools should not ignore the Macpherson report's important messages.

The point I was trying to make was rather different. Early reporting of Macpherson's findings suggested that it was laying the blame for the Stephen Lawrence murder with teachers and schools. Initial impressions were that here was yet another example of schools and teachers being glibly blamed for all society's ills. That would have been a slur on the thousands of schools and teachers working hard to make schools prejudice-free zones.

In the event, the Macpherson report was far more judicious and it certainly contains messages we must all take seriously.

Having had an Irish mother I know quite a lot about racism. Stereotyping is a risk all of us run.

Peter Smith General secretary Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now