Anti-Racist Education Update: Term 1 Review

Following the Oasis Community Learning, Break The Cycle conferences earlier this year (see Session 1 and Session 2), saw the launch of an aspirational plan with the aim of implementing an anti-racist approach at Oasis Academy Media City, focusing on decolonising the structures in education through; Curriculum Reviews, Staff Training and CPD, Student Education, Community, and Leadership and Management.

It has been a challenging start to the school year, due to Covid-19 and limited-time capacity to facilitate the project, where the majority of the work was completed outside of the school hours. Despite this, I’m proud to report that significant milestones have been achieved in the first term;

Curriculum Review and Adaptation

Review curriculum areas to ensure they have contributions from Black and Global Majority contributors.

  • Audit the cultural diversity of each Programme Of Study (POS)– each POS representative of different cultures across the five years of study. 
  • Audit the teaching and learning through  an anti-racist leans using the NEU anti-racist framework
  • Review and adapt the PSHE curriculum based on the feedback from students

Review the subject areas to ensure that they have career paths that are inclusive for BGM students.

  • List of industry professionals , coaches and mentors that could be used for interventions through the race trust (launch term 2)
  • Introduction to Black and Global History, in conjunction with the University of Manchester and the Heritage fund. UOM will find local trailblazers for core subjects (Maths, English and Science) with the aim of including these within the lessons. https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/hub/107833/news?page=9
  • Anti-Racist training in conjunction with Kids of Colour and resources provided by www.theracetrust.com and MUSA ( https://musa.wisdomagainstracism.com/ ) to provide a framework for PSHE lessons
  • Opportunity to discuss issues relating to race, politics, culture, and identity with teaching staff chairing the conversations, addressing any misconceptions
  • Dropdown days consisting of Anti-Racist workshops timetabled throughout the academic year
  • Ensure that all cultural events are included in the calendar- for example refugee week, Diwali, Eid, Chinese New Year, Wind rush day etc. Robust plan for Black History Month. Use the OCL equality and diversity calendar as a framework for upcoming events.
  • Visual and communication audit report. All areas of communication that is associated to OAMCUK (Website, School Newsletters, Photos around the academy, classrooms)

Next Steps

  • Targeted inventions for vulnerable BGM students / BGM NEET / BGM High prior attainers with mentors from BGM community, from a wide range of sectors. EG The Race Trust and entrepreneurs from the business sector to create a ‘school to industry pipeline.’
  • Expand the Black and Global History trail to all subjects within the curriculum
  • Anti-Racist training in conjunction with Kids of Colour and resources provided by theracetrust.org and MUSA to provide a framework for PSHE lessons. Opportunity to discuss issues relating to race, politics, culture, and identity with teaching staff chairing the conversations, addressing any misconceptions

Staff Training and CPD

Staff to become diversity champions, becoming experienced in an anti-racist and anti-oppressive pedagogy

  • Deliver a session on being diversity champions as staff
  • Anti-Racist Working party group (meeting termly)
  • Kids of color Anti-racist training (Booked in for half term 2)
  • Wisdom against Racism MUSA training via introduction with all staff (Booked in for half term 2)

Next Steps

  • Anti-racist CPD structured in half term from specialist providers (The race trust and Kids of Colour, Anne Frank Trust )
  • Unconscious and implicit biastraining

Student Education

Targeted interventions for Black and Global Majority students

  • Review the area of concern (e.g. Careers / subject area) that needs intervention.
  • Targeted tutorials with the University of Manchester and Aim Higher for Black students interested in Optometry, Dentistry, and Physics.
  • Student ambassadors. Focused on an anti-racist approach and community cohesion  via the race Trust (Next term)
  • Student voice (Half Termly Termly) See survey https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=zz3XjXy17EC3-HVbUS2fe_xHa7NdGvVLrMTZ2vc5tthUOVFERktYUEkxMlhXNkhVRjVNRDROUkFDOS4u
  • Regular meetings with students that have been in involved in racist attacks on other students. Far-right extremism/anti-racism interventions Small little steps anti-racist training https://smallstepsconsultants.com/
  • Anti-Racist lessons, Followed up by targeted Interventions focused on the impact of Hate Crime via The race Trust / Kids of colour

Next Steps

  • Anti-racist ambassador trainning with (The race trust and Kids of Colour, Anne Frank Trust)

Leadership and Management

Term 1 Behavior Policy review: Critically Review existing school policy through the lens of Black and Global Majority Learners

Key changes

  • Racist incidents 3 days in Internal exclusion that could lead to a Fixed Term Exclusion
  • Return to school meeting with parents and SLT
  • The incident is referred to the police and local authorities
  • Repeat offenders will be Fixed Term Excluded
  • MUSA anti-racist course 6-week course to be completed
  • Amended Anti-Racist section in the home school agreement for parents and staff to sign

Next Steps

  • Review existing performance management content and include a target aligned with becoming an anti-racist school
  • Audit of racial indents sanctions and restorative interventions
  • Name Blind recruitment process when appointing new staff
  • Positive discrimination focused on the recruitment of Good/ outstanding BGM practitioners 
  • BGM representation on the OCL equivalent of the Board of governors
  • Clear recruitment to leadership progression for BGM teachers

Community

Improve local community links

  • Weekly meetings with the community strategy response team
  • Collaborations with local anti-racist organisations (eg, Anne Frank Trust, The Race Trust, Kids of Colour)
  • Weekly meetings with the community strategy response team (Neighbourhood development officers, Salford Youth Service, Local Agencies focused on online safety, Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour updates from the local PCSO’s)

Next Steps

  • Increased involvement with community partners, utilising the Oasis Hub

‘Break the Cycle’ – the under-representation of BAME leaders in education

 

There is an urgent need to address the diversity of teachers in leadership positions within schools to highlight the changing demographics of the student population. A diverse leadership team represents the expectation of equality for learners and creates positive stereotypes as opposed to the subordinate roles that are often associated to staff from BAME origin

The statistics present a major concern; the ratio of BAME leaders to BAME students is disproportionate compared to that of their White counterparts. Steve Chalke the founder of the multi-academy trust, Oasis Community Learning, reports that as of 2017, the department of education statistics show that just 3.2 percent of state-funded secondary school head teachers identified as non-white, while for primary school head teachers the figure was 2.4 percent.  In January 2016, according to official figures, just 39 secondary headteachers in England identified as black.

This has led to the following concerns;

With no BAME leaders how can we best tackle racism in our schools?

With no BAME leaders how do we encourage BAME students to aspire to be leaders themselves?

With no BAME leaders how do we address the unconscious bias that we are instilling in all our students, of any ethnicity: that leaders are white, and for that matter, most often male and middle-class?

The event ‘Breaking the cycle’ explores how we change the culture and promote BAME leadership in education. This event is hosted by Oasis Community Learning and TES in central London on March 9, 2019.

Break the Cycle – generating equity in education leadership takes place.  For more information, click here.

Find Steve Chalke’s full interview on the TES website: https://www.tes.com/news/where-are-our-bme-leaders-education