In June of 2020 whilst Labour were in administration, we won support for plans to do more to help schools address racism and bias in the educational curriculum.
Thanks to a joint Labour and Green motion being agreed at the Children, Young People & Skills Committee in 2020, all training offered to schools, teachers and trainee teachers will now include building understanding of the impact on pupils and staff of bias, discrimination, white privilege and institutional racism.
The aim is to give teachers practical tools for teaching and communicating around racism, colonialism, global citizenship, interconnection, immigration and diversity.
Whilst in administration, Labour committed to becoming an anti-racist council, and we called for the council to offer more guidance to our city’s schools around educating in a way that not only acknowledges, but also is critical of, the racial prejudices and discrimination of the past.
We are deeply committed to that anti-racism education being rolled out across the schools in our city, and at Monday’s meeting of the Children, Young People & Skills Committee, Labour’s opposition spokesperson, Cllr Jackie O’Quinn, called for a report to come to the next committee to update members on the progress and contents of that anti-racism education.
Cllr O’Quinn also challenged the current Green administration to ensure the educational materials and contents of the anti-racism curriculum were available for Councillors to see, as is the case with any other subject taught in our local family of schools.
The Labour Group is pleased that since Monday’s meeting, officers have committed to extending the racial literacy training that teachers have received to Councillors who wish to participate, ensuring there is democratic oversight of the educational materials and city councillors are further educated on critical race theory and anti-racism.
Labour’s opposition spokesperson for children, young people and skills, Cllr Jackie O’Quinn said:
“The anti-racism strategy in our schools is crucial to ensuring young people gain a deeper understanding of the detrimental impact of racism on our democracy and on people’s lives and how we can eradicate it.
“However, what is taught must be transparent and councillors have an important role in ensuring this is the case and also in scrutinising the relevant teaching materials.”