School Statement Against Racism
Statement on behalf of the Girls’ Learning Trust in response to recent events.
The fundamental purpose of The Girls’ Learning Trust is to empower girls and women through excellent education. However, our schools cannot fulfil this purpose unless they can benefit from the talents of everyone and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities they afford.
We affirm without equivocation that Black Lives Matter and we are committed to confronting systemic racism whenever and wherever it occurs in our schools. We also celebrate the courage, commitment, and resilience of our students whose voices we will amplify so as to ensure that young people of colour—along with their families, and our staff—feel valued and safe in our schools.
We know that education is a powerful force through which to bring about societal change. As a Trust we want to provide a framework through which our schools can work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of minority ethnic students and staff. In building this framework, we recognise that:
- Racial inequalities are a significant issue within education. They are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of UK society and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.
- In finding solutions to racial inequalities, it is important that these are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding solutions that are aimed at changing the individual.
- Minority ethnic students and staff are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of, and outcomes from, schools and that complexity needs to be considered when developing actions.
- All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possible.
Specifically, we will take the following actions as soon as possible:
- Set up a trust Race Advocacy Group comprising students, staff and alumnae from all GLT schools to work on targeting areas of racial inequality in our schools.
- Provide in each school access to help, support and advocacy for students who experience racial inequality and work positively with other agencies and organisations who oppose racism.
- Ensure that everyone in our schools has access to resources and training and that we continue to develop everyone’s learning and understanding of the issues facing minority ethnic students and staff.
Sandy Gillet, Chair
Jennifer Smith, CEO