Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education – Curriculum Reform
Khadija Mohammed and Jovan Rao-Rydder, Co-Chairs of the Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Curriculum Reform SubGroup tell us about their work in articulating and embedding anti-racism into schools.
The Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education programme of work was established by the Scottish Government Learning Directorate in 2020. It employs a system-wide approach to work with, and involve, a range of organisations and individuals who have experience of and expertise in race equality and anti-racism in education. The Curriculum Reform SubGroup works alongside three other focused groups that lead on enhancing diversity in the education profession, embedding anti-racism in education leadership and professional learning, and addressing racism and racist incidents in schools.
The approach of the Curriculum Reform SubGroup is broad and ambitious. It seeks to articulate and embed anti-racism into the life of a school. It does this through considering how racism is experienced by the children, young people, families, educators and communities that it serves. Our recommendations will be submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and published in autumn 2022.
We’ve been delighted to work alongside the Empire, Slavery and Scotland’s Museums programme of work. We share their acknowledgement of the clear need for Scotland to address the legacies of empire, colonialism, and historic enslavement within the culture, education and heritage sectors. We’re also glad that we share a common approach and commitment to the principles that underpin our way of working; centring racialised communities in our solutions, through partnership with anti-racist organisations, children and young people and educators who experience racism.
The vision of the SubGroup states that: “the curriculum will include the historical influence on society and culture and the contribution of People of Colour and people with a racialised identity in a positive and empowered way. The role of Scotland and the UK in colonial history and the impact it has on the modern world will feature in teaching and learning to ensure our young people have an understanding and awareness of the British Empire and colonialism, including enslavement and other human rights violations, past and present.”
Scotland’s museums, through their response to the recommendations made by the Empire, Slavery and Scotland’s Museums project, are significant and valuable partners for the education sector as it develops and embeds anti-racism. They bring expertise and leadership on historical events and perspectives, coupled with memorable opportunities for learning through their spaces, objects and collections.
We recognise and welcome the existing and emerging resources and relationships in which museums are helping schools to address the legacies of empire, colonialism, and historic enslavement, including racism, in modern day Scotland. We are pleased to warmly support this recommendation of the Empire, Slavery and Scotland’s Museums Steering Group in relation to education and the curriculum. These recommendations will be a powerful support to our efforts to ensure that racialised communities are meaningfully involved in shaping a more anti-racist Scotland.
We look forward to working together in pursuit of that vision.
Khadija Mohammed and Jovan Rao-Rydder, Co-Chairs of the Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education – Curriculum Reform SubGroup