Black Lives Matter
Monday, 08 June 2020
Recent events have brought to the forefront of all our minds the issue of systemic racism and the way in which the assumption of white superiority can pervade thinking consciously and unconsciously. We recognise that individuals may not see themselves as racist but they can still benefit from systems which privilege white faces and voices. As in every school, it is our role to fight ignorance and inequality. In addition, we seek to promote diversity and inclusion which are integral to the aims of the Foundation.
We have been impressed by how many current pupils, members of staff, and alumni have been vocal in condemning racism in all its forms. In turn, we have committed to undertake a thorough review of current practices in order to evaluate where changes are necessary.
In the short term, we will be taking these actions:
In the Boys’ Division, Headmaster Mr Britton will tomorrow lead an assembly focusing on racism and the events of recent days.
In the Girls’ Division, tomorrow’s Heads of Departments’ meeting will focus on the curriculum with regard to BAME culture in order that we can increase provision in this area.
At the start of the next academic year the Headmaster and Headmistress will lead a consultation with current students and parents, to which members of the alumni body will be invited to contribute. The Heads are currently looking for outside organisations with which they can work so that such a consultation is meaningful and well-focused. In the meantime, Old Boys and Old Girls are invited to share their experiences by emailing BLMConsultation@boltonschool.org
Although this is not an exhaustive list, we expect the review will explore issues such as the diversification of the History curriculum, increasing pupil exposure within the English curriculum and elsewhere to a diverse range of texts written by BAME authors, further developing our PSHEE curriculum in its consideration of racism and discrimination, developing our welfare provision for BAME pupils, looking again at how we might encourage strong applications for employment from the BAME community and providing ongoing training for staff on promoting diversity and the elimination of unconscious bias.
In the longer term, we need to address the fact that, whilst the make-up of our student body across both Divisions reflects that of the local community in terms of ethnic breakdown, our staff community is not reflective of the pupil body. This is something we actively try to combat in any appointment through the way in which we word job adverts and in our recruitment processes. We shall continue to look at ways in which we can encourage well-qualified BAME students to join the teaching profession and to apply to work at schools within the Foundation. We have started to see some excellent candidates coming through Initial Teaching Training schemes which we host.
As a Foundation, we acknowledge our role in actively dismantling systemic racism and prejudice within society. We are intent that our response to events of the past two weeks should be meaningful and have long-term impact, and encourage all members of our community to continue to engage positively with this process in order that that will be the case.
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