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NEWS

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Tackling prejudice and inequality

The great anger and dismay following recent events in the US has given every school and employer an opportunity to reflect on their responsibility for the welfare of children and adults from ethnic minority backgrounds.
 
At Wilson's we are extremely proud of our diverse community and we have never been complacent about racism. We acknowledge that overt and covert racism still exists in schools, workplaces and other institutions, requiring proactive attention. That is why racism is addressed directly by Heads of Year in assemblies and communications, and also in the PSHE curriculum. This curriculum is kept under constant review, and - like most schools - we are certainly going to take this opportunity to consider further how race issues are addressed (for example by ensuring that race is discussed as a possible theme in the planning for next year's safeguarding ambassador programme, whereby sixth formers share their experiences with younger pupils in classroom lessons).
 
Racism, homophobia and bullying are regularly subject to discussion by Key Stage Directors and the wider Learner Development Team and each year we revisit and develop our anti-bullying strategy in school and commit ourselves to further understanding how hateful attitudes and behaviour can be tackled in children and adults. The Learner Development Team continues to reflect on the need to treat incidents of racial abuse as part of a wider behavioural pattern/culture, and the need to pay particular attention to changes in behaviour that might indicate that racial abuse is taking place. Pupils from all ethnic minority backgrounds achieve extremely well at the school as a result of assiduous tracking and intervention by teaching staff.
 
We feel we have taken many steps in the right direction in recent years, including establishing the anonymous ‘Report a Concern’ page for reporting incidents (including racism, and other hateful and bullying behaviour); pupils are reminded about this on a regular basis. We also hold full and detailed pupil surveys (which address questions of pupil safety and equality) but there is always more we can do, in particular by talking more to pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds about their experiences in the school and considering their recommendations at all levels.
 
An Ofsted visit in February 2020 indicated that “pupils are kind, considerate and have a keen sense of equality”. We believe this is true and it is a strong starting point for further improvement, but we are not at all complacent and continue to be highly self-critical in developing our policy and practice.
 
The best way to combat any sort of prejudice and inequality is through knowledge and education and we take the crucial role that our school can play in this very seriously. In May 2021, we will be hosting our biennial mental health conference with delegates from schools the south-east of England, which will address disparities in mental health treatment for children from BAME backgrounds in the UK. You can find out more about what we do to combat racism, homophobia and bullying here.
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