Council pledges to help tackle racism and bias in schools

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Councillors have agreed that schools in Brighton & Hove will receive more help and guidance with addressing racism and bias in the educational curriculum. 

All training provided by Brighton & Hove City Council for schools, teachers, and trainee teachers will now include building a solid understanding of how the issues of bias, discrimination, white privilege, and institutional racism impact pupils and staff alike.

The aim of this is to equip teachers with the necessary practical tools needed to teach and communicate about topics including racism, global citizenship, immigration, colonialism, interconnection, and diversity.

This commitment is a reflection of the joint Green and Labour motion which was agreed at the council’s children, young people, and skills committee. The original proposal came from Councillor Hannah Clare, the committee’s opposition lead member. It was then seconded by the deputy chair of the committee, Councillor Kate Knight.

 

Councillor Knight said:

“We are committed to becoming an anti-racist council, and we strongly support the Black Lives Matter movement.
 
“We want to offer more guidance to our city’s schools around educating in a way that not only acknowledges, but also is critical of, the racial prejudices and discrimination of the past.
 
“We want our staff to feel confident and have appropriate resources to confront and combat racism, as we all come to more fully appreciate the role that privilege and bias plays in our lives.
 
“We are absolutely committed to involving members of the city’s BAME communities in adapting our training and guidance.”

 

Councillor Clare said:

“We need to do everything we can to combat racism and break the cycle of oppression that has built up over many generations.

“The proposal called for monitoring and evaluation too, because we believe the council has a duty to improve the support we offer our schools in this area.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has reminded us that taking action is overdue. 

“Rather than a short-term approach, we know it’s important that work to dismantle racism is built into how we deliver services both now and into the future.”

 

The council is also writing to the national government to ask for:

•    More financial support for schools to enable for rigorous training, learning and development.
•    Mandatory training around the issues of race, prejudice and privilege.
•    An urgent reform of the curriculum that ensures BAME history is embedded in the UK’s school system.

 

Click here to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement, how it started, where to find resources, ways to get involved, etc.

 

Featured Image: © NeONBRAND

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