How is your school tackling racism? Is it working? How do you know? Ahead of September’s inaugural National Schools’ Human Rights Conference, Peter Radford looks at three principles that should underpin your school’s anti-racism work

The past year has exposed in alarming ways just how much racism still pervades society and remains inherent in the national consciousness, institutions and systems.

Racial inequality is undeniable, and the Black Lives Matter campaign has brought this fact to the fore for a new generation of students. The power of social media to inform about and expose injustice has galvanised a generation. However, its power to misinform and exacerbate echo-chambers which undermine meaningful dialogue and engagement has the potential to nullify calls for change and create further division.

As schools we have a responsibility to educate students on this matter and to find ways to model and facilitate change in attitudes and systems. But how on earth do we go about doing this? In a year when schools have been stretched to the max just keeping up with Covid, this essential social and moral education has fallen by the wayside, though it was never exactly front and centre in the first place. The danger is that as we get back to “normal” and focus on “catch-up”, the momentum and will for systemic change could be lost.

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