City of Edinburgh Council Black Lives Matter Statement

Recent events in the US, in particular the shocking death of George Floyd, and the global response are shining a light again on the harmful and persistent issue of institutionalised racism.  We fully recognise that it is no less an issue in the UK and Scotland.  We have a list of similar deaths of black citizens, and we have witnessed the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

We are heartened by the concern and support expressed by pupils, parents and staff from across our learning communities in recent days.  We are all rightly asking what more we can and should do to support our Black, Asian and minority ethnic pupils and colleagues.

We re-affirm and strengthen our commitment to confronting and addressing racism and discrimination in all its forms through strong anti-racist leadership, teaching and youth work.  Our recent engagement with BAME young people and partner organisations has shown that there is much more that we can do and we will continue to listen and learn.  We have started by implementing a revised anti-bullying procedure supported by training for senior leaders and pupil Equalities groups and we are working to ensure that Black history and its role in our city is a core part of a decolonised and inclusive curriculum.  We will increase training for all school staff and have set up a working group as part of a national commitment to increasing diversity in the teaching workforce.

We believe that our schools have a vital role to play in tackling racism and creating a city where all are treated with dignity and respect.  We want all our children and young people to thrive and lead in a diverse and complex world.  We do not underestimate the challenge of this deep-rooted problem.  We are fully committed to making a difference, harnessing the compassion, energy and creativity of our children, young people, families and staff to make Edinburgh a city where there is no place for discrimination or injustice.

On behalf of,

The City of Edinburgh Council Equalities Steering Group (Education)

Kind regards

Lorna Sweeney

(Chair) Equalities Steering Group (Education)

Annemarie Procter

C&F Equalities Lead