Commenting on the passing of motion 24 at the National Education Union’s Annual Conference, which is being held virtually, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The NEU has today agreed to take forward proposals which strengthen roll out and implementation of its Anti-Racism Charter. (1)

“Many schools have been using the NEU’s anti-racist framework which takes a whole school approach to challenging racism and increasing representation in the curriculum. The self-evaluation tool has sections on leadership, teaching and learning, wellbeing and belonging and culture and community. The NEU has an ambitious plan to support more schools and to develop the confidence and professional skills of members to identify and tackle the effects of racism on all aspects of progress and learning.

“We are witnessing a huge push forward on anti-racism with many schools reviewing their curriculum around social justice issues and the inequalities highlighted by Covid. Many schools and parents recognise that education must reflect the extensive impact of empire as well as the major contributions and achievements of Black people in every subject area. It is urgent that all Black students can access a positive, engaging and representative curriculum.

“Westminster isn’t listening on the need to review the curriculum and they would do well to be looking at Wales where they are adapting the curriculum.  The NEU is proud to be working with the Lewis Hamilton Commission, with the Runnymede Trust and with Cargo Classroom to develop tools for teachers which promise better educational opportunities for Black students.  

“We have got to recognise that racial disparities are still prevalent in assessment and attainment; in the recruitment, retention, pay and progression of Black teachers and in the exclusion rate of Black pupils.  In the 2018/2019 school year, 4,889 exclusions were due to racist abuse.  It's urgent that Initial Teacher Education (ITE) better helps trainees create inclusive, anti-racist practice and the NEU is proud to be working on a project with the University of Newcastle to establish good practice in ITE on tackling race inequality.

“Today NEU members have pledged to build on the anti-racist work done within the profession so far and to reach out to more schools and colleges, so every student has an entitlement to a fair and equal education.”

ENDS

2021-067-NEU

  • Read about our Anti-Racism Charter here.
  • The NEU is partnering with organisations such as the Runnymede Trust and Cargo Classroom. They both have materials for diversifying the curriculum. 
  • We are working with the Hamilton Commission to enable more Black young people to achieve in STEM subjects and engineering.