Anti-Racist School Award
We are delighted to announce that King Ecgbert School has been awarded the Centre for Race, Educational & Decoloniality Anti-Racist School Award - Bronze Status. This means that as a school we are committed to tackling racism and to building an anti-racist culture. We are also proud to be the first school in the country to meet the criteria for this award and would like to thank all the students, staff, parents and community who have worked hard to achieve this.
This is an important milestone in our journey - but not the end of it. We would like to reassure our school community that we are determined to continue to build an anti-racist culture and will be working towards Silver Status over the next year.
The award is from the Leeds Beckett University Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality (CRED). We started the process in 2022 and since then have been working with the support of CRED on 6 key areas of the school to become an Anti-Racist School. The 6 areas are leadership and management, school environment, professional learning and development, the hidden curriculum (uniform policies, ethos of the school, displays), curriculum (what we teach) and pedagogy (how we teach), and our work with parents/carers and community partnerships.
A really important part of our work has been listening. We have listened to students, parents, carers and staff and kept their voices in mind as we have planned to improve our school. We have done a lot of staff training to understand why this work is needed, and how to make changes to what we teach and how we teach to become a more inclusive school. We introduced a new Dignity and Respect policy to make it clearer and easier for everyone in the school community to report racism and to make sure it is followed up with education as well as restoration.
We have expanded the opportunities in our curriculum and with extra-curricular trips and visits to improve representation of the global majority in our students’ experiences at school. As well as a focus on every day improvements, such as awareness of micro aggressions, we have taken more opportunities to celebrate our diversity, including a Cultural Dress day as part of a week of celebrations last summer. We always mark Black History Month, and this year we are introducing an Asian History Month as well.
It is important to us that we maintain our focus on this work. We have Anti-Racism student and staff groups to help reflect on our actions so far and to continue the work. We also take part in a network of other local schools to share good practice and sustain the momentum. CRED are planning to set up a network connecting South Yorkshire schools with an interest in working towards the Anti-Racist School Award and we look forward to being involved in that.
Our school values are centred around King Ecgbert School being a warm, welcoming and inclusive school where we aim that all students, no matter what their background, feel welcomed, respected, recognised and so able to thrive. Our reputation for inclusion is well known, but we feel strongly we have a moral responsibility to actively make the world a better place so the work on anti-racism has been a crucial part of our school’s development in the last few years. To be the first school in the country to reach this standard makes me immensely proud of the work the whole community - staff, students and parents, have done to make changes that make a genuine positive difference to the lives of our community.
Headteacher, Paul Haigh