We have received some questions from members of our alumni community around our position on race equality issues, in light of the recent letter in The Independent newspaper highlighting the experiences of black and minority ethnic people who had attended independent schools in the UK.
Bede’s School condemns unequivocally discrimination and inequality in all its forms. Our School was founded on the principles of respect for each and every pupil’s individuality, an acceptance of our differences, service to others, kindness and compassion. These values are more important now than ever.
The appalling circumstances of the recent tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have shocked the world. They require a committed and resolute response from us all to create a more equitable and just society, where all people are respected and valued regardless of their race or ethnicity.
Today we need empathy more than ever, to listen and to learn about the experiences of others to help us better our community. We do not have all the answers but we are committed to working tirelessly to find them and to tackling racism and prejudice within our community.
Bede’s is a school in which all our pupils should flourish. Any form of racism is unacceptable and is not and never can be tolerated here. We know, too, that we need to do more to create an atmosphere in which all pupils are confident to report the use of offensive behaviour, including racism.
It is not adequate to say that we as individuals are not racist – we must be actively anti-racist in our actions, policies and educational delivery. We will continue to engage with colleagues, pupils, alumni and with groups beyond our immediate School community, to ensure that we are addressing these issues in a coherent, considered and transparent way.
Listening to and learning from pupils’ experiences is invaluable in helping us to shape our community and ensure our response is sustained and meaningful in serving to create a just and fair society for all.
Bede’s is an agent of change and we remain committed to the diversity of a school community which celebrates differences of any kind. We commit to tackling prejudice and discrimination in all its forms.