On World Anti-Racism Day (21 March 2014), the NASUWT is challenging government administrations across the UK to demonstrate stronger leadership and to take action to stamp out racism.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“In the rush towards policies of financial austerity, governments across the UK are in danger of taking a backward step on racial equality.
“As the problems of racial inequality and racial intolerance appear to be on the increase, the need for action on anti-racism remains urgent.
“However, in recent years, government decisions to abandon national programmes and grass-roots support to tackle the long and unacceptable legacy of racism and discrimination are having a profoundly damaging impact on community relations and community cohesion.
“Racism is a blight on our schools and on society but it is not inevitable and it can be tackled through committed and resilient leadership by government.
“Government administrations across the UK must ensure that important safeguards are in place to protect children, young people and staff in schools from the appalling abuse of prejudice, intolerance and racial hatred.
“Racial inequality is one of the key barriers to individual aspiration, social mobility and economic recovery.
“Regrettably, schools are not immune from the problem of racism, and there is evidence that some schools are being targeted by racist extremists who are jeopardising the safety and security of children and young people at school.
“Racism will not be tackled effectively until there is political leadership across the board to put the issue on the agenda and to take the steps necessary to tackle the problem.
“The NASUWT has long maintained that preventing members of racist and fascist organisations from serving as school leaders, governors and teachers in schools would send out a strong and powerful message about the unacceptability of racism.
“Ministers must now honour their commitments to take action to stamp out racism.”
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