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Anti Racist School
Dear parents, students and members of the Islington wider community,
Like many of you I am sure, global events and demonstrations across the world following the murder of George Floyd were deeply upsetting and challenged some of the basic principles of inclusion and social justice which we hold dear at EGA.
We are a school committed to changing lives for all our students for the better and are guided through this by our commitment to work, believe, achieve and innovate without limits, celebrating and valuing the rich diversity at the heart of school life.
We recognise however that we need to do more to address the long standing and deep rooted racism which has affected so many for too long.
As a school we are committed in our journey to being actively anti-racist. School must be a place where difficult and uncomfortable truths are tackled to support everyone. Education plays a critical role in tackling injustice and discrimination of all kinds, and we must ensure that we are supporting our students through both our curriculum and the building and developing of skills and knowledge, to question racism wherever they encounter it.
We are at the start of this journey and have much more to do and to learn as we progress. Both staff and students are working together to look closely at all aspects of school life to make sure everyone is respected, valued, treated fairly and protected. Parents of course are a key part of this process and we will be looking to engage with you, our families, to support our journey as it progresses.
I will not have the first-hand experience that many of you will have, however I want to assure you of my absolute and ongoing commitment to address injustice wherever it occurs, and am confident that together we can emerge stronger and more united for the betterment of all.
Headteacher EGA School
Our Anti Racist Statement
EGA is committed to work to become a truly anti racist school for the benefit of every member of the school community. Set out below is the framework within which we are working
- To ensure the voices of all members of the school are heard in order to develop a collective understanding of the experiences of our community
- To interrogate and modify the curriculum we offer, ensuring that we are representing in positive ways the rich cultural heritage of all members of our community
- To ensure that we teach challenging and culturally diverse content with honesty, confidence and integrity, and that through our curriculum we question existing ideas of canons and cultural capital
- To ensure education, dialogue and reflection - as opposed to judgement - are at the heart of how we approach change
- To look at the systems and structures which underpin the work of the school to ensure that no staff are held back from developing, as and when opportunities arise
- To be clear in our message to the wider community the values which are at the heart of our school in relation to diversity
- To ensure all students are supported to develop themselves through not only the formal academic curriculum but the range and accessibility of the 'super curriculum’
- To provide ongoing CPD to staff to ensure we continue to develop our conversations around diversity in a meaningful way
- To recognise the unconscious bias endemic in our society and in ourselves, and seek to challenge and erase it wherever possible
- To look at the power of language and how we use it positively, sensitively and consistently when discussing issues of race and inequality and also when addressing students and each other
- To normalise a culture in which dialogue about race and cultural diversity is possible, good intention is assumed, feedback is welcomed, and fear of making mistakes does not hinder progress
- To ensure student leadership gives a voice to students in the running of the school and is encouraged to be active in the positive promotion of anti-racism
Our Diversity Team
Our team is made up of representatives from all areas of the school community - teaching staff, non teaching staff, senior leaders and administrative staff. We have recently appointed a student diversity team drawn from all of our year groups. Students are supervised by one or more of the members of the adult diversity team.
The student diversity team will work closely with the student council that is currently in place.
Our commitment as a school and our journey so far
- We have acknowledged and responded to students as they tell us about their experiences online, in the community and at school.
- There has been active recruitment of staff to better represent our diverse community.
- In 2019 we delivered “Power of language” workshops to our year 7 students as part of our “Belonging” commitment to students and staff. In September 2020, we held an all staff CPD focus on becoming an anti racist school.
- Our SPSHE curriculum from years 7 to 11 regularly covers issues on racism, islamophobia, unconscious bias , LGBT inclusion and gender equality.
- We have embedded training for our staff on decolonising the curriculum at EGA and have begun work on reviewing our curricula across the school
- We have created a resource bank/ bibliography for our staff to access in regards to addressing issues relating to race and anti racism
- We are in the process of developing diversity and anti racism training sessions for our students.
We will continue to confront challenging issues face on.
We commit to zero tolerance on racism and discrimination in our school community.
- We continue to listen to our students and staff regarding their experiences
- We will continue to train our staff to have difficult conversations around race and racism
Supporting Your Child
Resources for Parents:
Our Work So Far
Who can use the “N” word? - Year 9 workshop
Racism and anti racism CPD/ decolonising the curriculum - Dr Shamim Miah
Difficult Conversations part 2 - Challenging Stereotypes (Intersectional)