ISC's work on inclusion
The Independent Schools Council and the associations it represents fully support efforts to tackle racism or any other type of discrimination – there is need for positive, meaningful change. Schools strive to be inclusive and tolerant environments in which the wellbeing of every young person comes first. Racism can never be tolerated.
To help schools, the ISC - working closely with member associations - has established an Inclusion and Diversity Group which will consider guidance and best practice. The group has agreed a strategic vision to support schools’ efforts to be inclusive places where all staff and pupils feel comfortable, respected and valued. It is a positive vision that will bring benefits to schools. In addition, while the driver for current debate is black, Asian and minority ethnic (UK) racism, and that will be considered first, the group will consider the needs of all ethnic and religious groups and tackling all forms of discrimination (based on protected characteristics in the Equality Act).
In that context, the ISC Board has agreed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. The IHRA is a global organisation of which the UK is a member and its antisemitism definition is widely adopted and recognised.
Our statement over the summer on Black Lives Matter can be read here.
Guidance for schools
The ISC’s Inclusion and Diversity Group is producing a series of guides and resources for schools to support them in their work on creating an inclusive culture, and addressing issues around discrimination. The group’s overall vision is, “To create an inclusive culture in our schools where all staff and pupils feel comfortable, respected and valued”. Guidance and resources for schools will be published in the ISC Member Zone (login required).
The ISC Inclusion and Diversity Group consists of members from the ISC associations and affiliate organisations. Examples of work that some of the individuals have done or are doing in the area of diversity and inclusion are as follows:
- Awareness raising, policy change and education campaigns across numerous countries to help women and minority groups realise their rights to a safe and healthy life free of poverty.
- Previous trustee of Home-Start. A charity working across the UK to support diverse families with parenting and school preparedness
- Academic study for an MA in SpLD/Dyslexia and research into the experience of Jewish pupils at independent schools in the 1960s and 1970s
- BSA Group Director of Guardianship and Inclusion