Nottinghamshire pupils tackling racism and discrimination

Pupils at Burntstump Seely Academy have spent the last year looking at ways to further strengthen their approach to diversity and equality.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 2:38 pm

Now, with the backing of staff, parents and Governors, the children have created a pupil-led focus group called the Equity Ambassadors.

Sally Glover, one of the teachers at the school, said: “What we are doing at Burntstump, is acknowledging that no organisation, be it a business, or a school like us, can leave such important matters to chance.

"We have to shine a light on the problem of racism, and discrimination, and to give our staff and children a voice to challenge and question it, that isthe only way to drive positive change.

Burntstump Seely teacher Sally Glover with pupils from the Equity Ambassadors group. Photo: Lou Brimble

"We want our children to grow up in a world which calls out racism and discrimination and where marginalising a person or a group is not tolerated.”The ambassadors, a group of year four, five and six children, are regularly meeting to discuss issues including equality and diversity, racism, discrimination, as well as prejudice which can give rise to unacceptable attitudes and behaviour.

Sally continued: “The children are encouraged to discuss the subject in a respectful and safe environment.

“As a school we are empowering everyone to speak up.

"We are aware that though things have moved forward, we have to make more progress and we can all do better.”

The anti-racism working party is a collaboration of parents, teachers and the school governors who meet regularly to raise awareness and discuss any issues, or to arrange activities the school can take part in, like Black History Month or This is Me Day.

Sally said: “We are fortunate to be a diverse school and we want to be able to discuss these matters in a way that promotes understanding and not division.

"Working alongside and presenting children’s work to the anti-racism working party has been very helpful.

"As staff we value the ideas and input from our parents, and this is a way of strengthening the collaboration.

“Our children have been amazing throughout.

"It is such a difficult and often entirely personal experience which informs our views on issues of racism and discrimination, so our first aim is to educate, and give children the opportunity to discuss things that they’ve found tricky or need guidance on.”