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Black History Month: School leaders call for mandatory anti-racism training in schools

School leaders’ union NAHT have recommended that all school staff receive mandatory anti-racism training, as part of the Keeping Children Safe in Education requirement.

The call comes as the nation marks Black History Month in October, the theme of which is ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words.’

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “Education can play a pivotal role in tackling discrimination, improving awareness and challenging prejudice.

“But, as reflected in this year’s Black History Month theme, words are not always enough – we need action too.

“We know that racism and racial inequality continues to exist within the education sector, as it does across society. We are committed as an organisation to helping our members actively address this. It matters for the health, well-being and futures of school leaders, their staff, and the pupils and communities that they serve.

“That’s why NAHT is calling for a centralised, anti-racist approach to education, underpinned by regular, mandatory anti-racism training for all staff.

“This needs to go further than simply being aware of racism – anti-racism requires action to change and create policies, practices, and procedures to promote racial equity. We need everyone who works in schools to be empowered to do this, in order to bring about true change.

“We see this as a necessary part of the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) training, to ensure that all children are protected by this requirement.

“We now have a new team at the Department for Education, including a new Secretary for State. This offers an opportunity for the Department to renew its commitment to diversity and inclusion, listen to the education profession, and to take a fresh look at the training that takes place in schools.”

NAHT's mandatory anti-racism training recommendation can be found in our Statement of Action on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Education 2022: Statement of Action 2022

First published 01 October 2022