Runnymede Trust report: Race and racism in English secondary schools

‘Given well-documented evidence about racism in policing, many teachers interviewed felt that the increasing presence of school-based police officers will have a detrimental impact upon black and ethnic minority (BME) pupils.’

This is from a June 2020 report from the Runnymede Trust, Race and Racism in English Secondary Schools. The report draws on the perspectives of secondary school teachers across Greater Manchester, and looks at racism in four key areas: the teaching workforce, the curriculum, police presence in schools, and school policies.

It argues that schooling must be radically reimagined to centre a commitment to anti-racism.

The report’s findings include:

  • While there is a need to increase the proportion of teachers from BME backgrounds, this must be coupled with an increase in racial literacy for all teachers.
  • Together with this, school curricula must be overhauled to centre anti-racism.
  • The presence of police in schools can be detrimental to all students, but the effects on working-class and BME pupils are particularly harsh.
  • Seemingly neutral school policies, such as those around uniform and hair, can systemically disadvantage BME students. These must be reviewed from an anti-racist perspective.

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