Moving in on racism

27th November 1998 at 00:00
I WRITE to express disquiet at the comments attributed to Fife Council with regard to racist incidents in its schools (TESS, November 20).

The council commented that "schools reporting a number of racist incidents may simply have more sensitive staff or follow procedures more strictly, rather than being more prone to racism".

This would seem to reveal at best a very worrying complacency towards the existence of racism. If racist incidents are being identified by the procedures set up for that purpose then clearly racism exists in those schools and Fife Council, instead of denying the facts, should be using the information to encourage the development of anti-racist strategies in schools.

This of course raises the wider issue of the need for the Scottish Office and HMI to mainstream attitudes of social justice and equality in all Scottish schools by giving them prominence in school inspections. Until this happens anti-racist policies of local authorities will largely remain unimplemented and the Government's aim of social inclusion will remain a pipedream.

Jack Barnett Principal teacher of history Fraserburgh Academy, Aberdeenshire

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