Race & Education in Cumbria: 22 Oct 2020

On 18th September every single Headteacher of Cumbria’s primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and higher education institutions was sent an invite to Anti Racist Cumbria’s first event alongside council leaders, MPs and educational leaders. You can read the full letter and sign to support it here. Our campaign is to challenge racism, encourage ALL Cumbrian schools to be actively anti-racist and to celebrate black and brown voices throughout the curriculum. Our unique online event Race & Education in Cumbria will engage in challenging, inspiring and forward-thinking discussions and calls for pledges from Cumbria’s Heads to address racism in their curriculum and to support all staff, pupils and families to be consciously anti-racist.  The event which takes place during Black History Month aims to ensure representation in education throughout the year, not just during Black History Month.

School leaders’ attendance at this event is expected and vital for all of Cumbria’s young people, not just our black and brown pupils. The stark truth is that our current national curriculum does disadvantage our black pupils, in particular black boys and here in Cumbria where our population is 98% white, quite simply does not prepare our children for a global multicultural society.

  • What happens to our children who are never shown a story with a black or brown hero?
  • What happens to our children when they are not taught about British colonialism?
  • What happens to our children when all the literature they are exposed to in school is from white writers?
  • What happens to our children if they say something racist to a fellow pupil?
  • What happens to our black and brown children when this is said to them?
  • What happens to a white girl who chooses not to tie up their hair?
  • What happens to a black girl who chooses not to tie up their hair?
  • What happens to a white boy who says they don’t feel very well in class?
  • What happens to a black boy who says they don’t feel very well in class?

The answers to these questions are hard to hear, and we know as we have heard them from Cumbrian school pupils past and present, black, brown and white. Sadly the statistics then speak for themselves too, new figures revealed schools in our county excluded pupils for racist bullying over 30 times in the last year alone. The numbers have to change. The stories from our young voices have to change. We believe they can.

Anti Racist Cumbria are not blaming teachers, we know how hard the job is, and it is made harder by an outdated curriculum that is woefully inadequate. Anti Racist Cumbria want to help, which is why at this special event we will not only be hearing from Cumbrian pupils, but also educational experts Lavinya Stennett CEO of the Black Curriculum and Adam Elliott Cooper of University of Greenwich.

At the event our schools will be asked to pledge to commit to doing better and we will work with and support schools depending on their needs and requirements.

 

This event is the first step towards a better Cumbria. The ripples we start here may even be felt elsewhere.

 

Please note this is an invite only event.

2 thoughts on “Race & Education in Cumbria: 22 Oct 2020

  1. Pingback: ITV covers Launch of Anti Racist Cumbria - Anti Racist Cumbria

  2. Pingback: What is Black History Month? : Anti Racist Cumbria

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