Anti-racism and race equality to be embedded in school life

Scotland's education secretary said embedding anti-racism into the ethos of the education system is 'imperative'.

Anti-racism and race equality to be embedded in school life iStock

Anti-racism and race equality is to be embedded into “all aspects” of school life, the Scottish Government has announced.

A new package of support materials is to be made available for teachers and school staff, with guidance on promoting race equality and anti-racist education also being provided.

The guidance states that anti-racist education helps children to “understand and realise their own rights and the rights of others within the school, within the community and globally”.

It explains that it will help learners to “understand the harmful consequences of racism and encourages them to actively challenge it wherever it occurs”.

And it states that it “nurtures a historical literacy in learners which helps them to understand all of Scotland’s history, including our historical role in empire, colonialism and transatlantic slavery, and the diversity of Scottish society in the past”.

The Government has indicated that the education resource will “ensure children and young people see language, content and imagery that reflects the diversity of culture, identities, and experiences, including their own”.     

Shirley-Anne Somerville said the guidance builds on existing resources. (STV News)STV News

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said having an education system which provides an opportunity for ant-racist learning is “crucial” in attempts to eradicate racism in wider society.

“Racism of any form has no place in Scotland which is why embedding anti-racism into the ethos and practice of our education system is imperative,” she said.

“This new Education Scotland guidance builds on existing resources available and was developed in collaboration with a range of young people, education practitioners and organisations with lived experience of racism and expertise in addressing it.

“Our schools and our curriculum seek to promote and inspire a sense of belonging, inclusion and social justice for learners, practitioners and the wider community.

“Having an education system that provides an opportunity for anti-racism learning, debate and leadership is crucial in our attempt to eradicate racism in wider society.”

Education Scotland chief executive and HMI chief inspector of education Gayle Gorman said the move will help children and young people to develop as global citizens.

“It is essential that all our children and young people develop an understanding of the world around them and how it has been shaped, as well as an appreciation of the contribution made by people from a range of cultures and identities,” she said.

“Our new resource will support the profession to teach and build a society which advances equality and actively rejects and challenges racial discrimination.

“We hope that our whole-school approach to race equality and anti-racism will help children and young people develop as responsible global citizens.”

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