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The journey to becoming an anti-racist school starts with courageous and committed leadership from the top. We would urge school leaders to start their journey today to transform tomorrow’s society and its citizens.

“Race equality in schools is really about a committed leadership to anti-racist action. In terms of the award we have it organised in specific sections.

“The award is designed to provoke thinking and action so if schools notice that BAME students are under-achieving or don’t feel confident in the school that racism will be tackled. It’s about schools turning themselves around and engendering more confidence within their school community internally and externally.

“Schools will spend the first year actioning the evidence-based statements and will be awarded with a ‘Working towards the Anti-Racist School Award’. In the second-year, schools will be embedding their plans across their policies, process and practice.

“I didn’t want this to be a tick-box exercise, what I wanted to convey was any kind of equality is always a work in progress.”

The Anti-Racist Award takes a whole school approach to anti-racism and covers five key competencies: Governance, Leadership and Management; School Environment; Recruitment, retention, professional development of the school workforce; Pedagogy and curriculum; and Working with parents, carers and community partnerships.

Lisa Fathers, Director of Teaching School & Partnerships at Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET), said:

“Embedding an anti-racist culture in school is every leader’s and every teacher’s responsibility. This is not about ‘tolerance’. Far from it, this is about cultivating environments that are genuinely trying their best to be anti-racist.

“For me this is isn’t an optional extra; it is about human rights. We all want our children to be happy, succeed and have equal access to all that is on offer in school and in life and unless we start getting more engaged with the notion of the racism inherent in society we won’t be able to create long lasting change.

“We are in a unique privileged position in schools to affect the future and we should be brave and embrace this opportunity now - there is no time to waste.

“At my trust we are looking forward to working closely with Leeds Beckett University’s CRED team to start to improve our work in this area too. As a teaching school we hope to influence many schools to re-look at this area too.”

The award costs £395 and lasts for three years, after which schools can apply for reassessment to maintain the same level or strive for higher quality standards.

For more information, visit The Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality