Thought For The Week - 16-01-23
Over the last year I have spent a lot of time exploring the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion in our schools. This has required a lot of learning and a lot of introspection to consider my own bias and privilege.
I am learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable when consider the past, the future and the part I can play in this work. My learning started with some wider reading including Lament to Action which is the report of the Archbishop’s Anti-Racism Taskforce (April 21).
This report calls us to combat racism as well as promote equity for all. Whilst it calls us to lament on the past, it primarily sets out a plan and urges us all to act for the future. At the start of the report we are reminded that the Bible teaches us that we are all one and that we should love one another. It also calls us to action to seek justice for all.
“But God has put the body together…so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” 1 Corinthians 12 :24-26
“Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24
I know that across our schools many of you are focused on this work. Perhaps you are aiming to increase the diversity of representation in your curriculum or are working with pupils to help them understand and challenge racism.
We know that the changes we need to make in education will take time. Our Diocesan Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working party meet regularly to explore ways in which we can support schools to develop in this area. We recognise that this is a huge piece of work that cannot sit with just one person. We also know that when everyone engages in small changes these can be the catalyst for further action. Perhaps you would like to reflect on the passages from Corinthians and Amos and identify a change you can make over the coming weeks to promote racial justice in your school. The diocesan team would love to hear about your work in this area.
We would also like to encourage all our schools to mark Racial Justice Sunday through collective worship or your broader curriculum offer. To this end we have included some resources in this bulletin to support your thinking in this area.
Racial Justice Sunday service at the Cathedral
On Sunday 12th February our Diocese will be marking Racial Justice Sunday. This will be an annual Diocesan event from now on. In the Cathedral a service of choral evening prayer is being held to which all are invited. Other churches will also be marking this day too. Myself and other members of the central team will be attending the service at the Cathedral and invite others, who are able, to join us. If you would like to book a seat please use this link.
Diversity: Opening the conversation
On Thursday 2nd February (10 -12.30pm) we will be hosting an online session which will allow teachers and school leaders to reflect on diversity and protected characteristics. It will explore how these priorities align with the Church of England’s vision for education. It aims to stimulate thinking and open conversation whilst also exploring resources and ideas which will support development with staff, pupils and communities. If you are interested in this session please book here.
from June Richardson, Schools Effectiveness Advisor