Update on work to make schools more diverse and tackle racism

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A comprehensive programme of work is under way to address racial issues in Liverpool’s education system.

Tackling the issue was identified as a priority by Mayor Joanne Anderson when she was elected in 2021.

Today, the council has announced a partnership with the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University to share anti-racist knowledge and best practice through a dedicated network.  Through the scheme, professionals from all schools and colleges within Liverpool will be able to attend professional learning programmes aimed at transforming the institutional culture and structures for schools in the city.

It builds on a series of other projects which are already under way, including:

  • Appointing a Race Equalities Officer for education, embedded within the council and working alongside schools
  • Training for prospective school governors with the aim of increasing the representation of minority communities on our schools’ boards of governors
  • Funding anti-racism training for Governors
  • Attempting to increase the diversity of the secondary school admissions appeals panels
  • Various measures attempting to improve the fairness of secondary school admissions
  • Community-based education support, where a trusted community organisation takes the lead on supporting educational attainment of pupils
  • We have set up a task and finish group working on hate crime in Education: involving our Community Safety team, and external stakeholders such as the Anthony Walker Foundation.
  • We will be setting up a multi-stakeholder Race Equality working group
  • Working with universities and community organisations to increase the diversity of students on teacher training courses
  • Creating a cross-sector group with council officers, school leads, Merseyside Police, and local organisations (including the Anthony Walker Foundation, Daisy Inclusive UK, Stop Hate UK) who provide support to victims of hate crimes and their families and support schools to be better equipped to prevent incidents of racial discrimination arising
  • Collaborating with schools to assist them to review their equalities and anti-racist policies to ensure they understand best practice in dealing with incidents should they arise, and to ensure that staff, students, parents, and all members of the schools’ community understand how the school aims to address incidents of racial discrimination should they arise
  • Engaged with various community representatives and groups to discuss the Council’s tole in eradicating racism in education

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “I am really pleased with the progress we have made over the last two years in putting in place firm foundations to make schools more representative of our city.

“Culture change is not easy and takes time to embed, but some of the projects that are now under way will make a fundamental difference over the coming months and years.”

Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Tomas Logan, said: “Liverpool is no different to many other cities in having an issue with diversity and racism in schools. However, recognising it is the first step in tackling it, which is what we have done.

“We want to shift the culture so schools are proactively anti-racist. This is not something that can be done overnight, but we have put in place building blocks to deliver a culture change and tackle some of the systemic issues.”

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