Letter to Parents & Carers : 25 June 2020

Letter to Parents & Carers : 25 June 2020

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love ”

Nelson Mandela

Dear parents and carers:

Re: Anti-racism and Equality

At Burdett-Coutts, we work towards being a united and actively anti-racist community. Our diversity is our strength and we believe that every child matters. Our educational offer exposes our children to a variety of cultures, authors, musicians and artists and we have a wide range of activities, visitors and events to enable our pupils to celebrate diversity and challenge inequality in all forms.

We have watched the wave of demonstrations across the world on injustice and inequality. Whilst the outpouring of emotion and subsequent protests may have been provoked by mass solidarity to an American incident, it is important to remember that racism is not distinctly an American problem and indeed categorising it as such creates a distance that allows us to attempt to ignore it or downplay it.

Racism is an issue that cannot and must not be ignored no matter where you are in the world. All staff condemn acts of violence, criminal damage and racist language. However, the heightened activism in our area of London is opening up challenging conversations about race that provide hope at this dark and difficult time.

Children are not born racist. We are all shaped by our life experiences and the language used by our significant others. We all have a part to play in fighting racism and striving for an equal society where people are not judged or persecuted for their skin colour, let alone harmed by those in authority who should be there to keep them safe.

We want our children to have the knowledge and skills to question racist views wherever they may encounter them. We agree that racial inequality continues to exist and damage society and as a school community, bound by our values of Friendship, Compassion and Service, we are actively working together to discuss race. We are:

  • Writing about how this situation is making us feel.
  • Learning about the contribution of Black people throughout the year and not solely in a dedicated month
  • Monitoring achievement by ethnicity to ensure that there is parity in attainment and progress
  • Reading books to educate ourselves

Examples of books for children:

  • All are welcome – Alexandra Penfold
  • Where are you from? – Yamile Saied Mendez
  • The Proudest Blue – Ibtijah Muhmmad
  • My Two Grandads – Floella Benjamin
  • My Hair is a Garden – Cobzi A Cobrera
  • Let it Shine – Andrea Davis Pinkey

Burdett-Coutts staff are committed to ensure that the language that dominates our community is anti-racist. We stand united in our belief for harmony and accord in our world.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Dyer, Mrs Lee & Mrs Camplin