Statement on institutional racism

Be seekers of truth and doers of Justice.

Mary Ward

It has not mattered enough that Black Lives Matter. Here is where this will change.

Head’s assembly, Monday 8th June 2020

Following the shocking killing of George Floyd on 25th May, Black Lives Matter protests have urgently focused the attention of this school upon the systemic racism and inequality faced by so many people across the globe. I addressed our school community on these issues in assembly on Monday, but we would like to offer a statement to our wider network of supporters.

Challenging inequality and prejudice lies at the heart of our ethos at St Mary’s: we are committed to anti-racist values and these are enshrined in our policies. Such a commitment is made in a spirit of humility, however, and we fully acknowledge that there is more yet to do in order to support and promote the wellbeing of our BAME students and staff, and to play our part in educating all students to be proactive and compassionate in eradicating discrimination and building a fairer world. In September we launch our Global Citizenship programme for the Sixth Form, which will have these issues front and centre. In the immediate future we will be listening to the opinions of our whole community, auditing our curriculum and policies, and working to ensure that practical steps are taken to address and eradicate racial discrimination or bias wherever they may be found to occur. As a school, we are establishing a working party to achieve this in a timely manner.

In undertaking this very necessary piece of work, conversations and decisions will involve representatives from across our community: pupils, teaching staff, support staff and the leadership team. We can only succeed in moving forward if we involve everyone and we are unafraid to take robust actions to ensure that St Mary’s does so.