George Floyd’s death has caused outrage around the world and exposed injustices and inequalities that BAME communities face across every sphere of their lives.
Racism and all forms of discrimination and prejudice have no place in our education system nor in any other aspect of society. We see how discrimination and entrenched disadvantage disproportionality affect the lives of BAME communities.
Systemic disadvantage and societal inequalities are starkly borne out by the disparities evident in the impact of coronavirus on the BAME community in the UK. The report Covid-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes identifies that people from BAME groups are more likely to be in jobs that had the greatest exposure to risk of infection, more likely to have been in poorer health, in more precarious employment and suffered more serious consequences, including death. Decades of structural racism in housing, health care and the labour market have devalued the lives of our BAME communities and blighted life chances. It is deeply concerning to see the detrimental impact of longstanding inequalities laid bare in this report.
As well as expressing sadness and sympathy it is vital as EPs that we use this time to reflect on the actions we must all take to help highlight many of the factors underlying racism, address the enduring injustices and tackle discrimination as individuals, in our working lives and within our communities. It is vital that we speak up at this time to support and stand in solidarity with our BAME colleagues and children and young people.
The AEP will continue to promote diversity and inclusion in the EP profession, stand against injustice and renew our commitment to bringing about the change needed to eradicate racism and discrimination and create a fairer, inclusive and more compassionate society.
Many EPs have worked for many years in schools with adults and children and young people to raise awareness of racism and all forms of discrimination and to help to try to ameliorate the impact of discrimination on particular groups and individuals. One of our members has recently collated a comprehensive collection of reading materials and other resources to share with colleagues to support their work with schools and children and young people. That information can be found here – if other members have materials that would be helpful for the profession then please send them in so that they too can be shared.