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Our guidance on supporting schools with racism-related issues

From Michael McGarvey, Managing Director at The Key


The Times and the Daily Mail yesterday published stories critiquing some of our content on inclusion and racism. These articles follow a report published by campaign group Don’t Divide Us in July, which looked at materials from a number of national and local bodies, including The Key.

The press articles make incorrect and misleading assertions that we provide lesson plans on white supremacy and police brutality in the US. While we have extensive content on how schools can meet their obligations around inclusivity and racism, The Key does not produce lesson plans or curricula.

The articles quoted selectively from different documents, including third-party sources, to suggest that we recommend 5 year-olds should be actively taught about US police brutality. This assertion is incorrect and confuses what is actively taught in a school with how staff might react to a child asking about a distressing topic they have heard about in the news or at home.

School context

We want to provide clarity and reassurance that we remain focused on practical issues that school leaders have to deal with.

Building inclusive schools and dealing with racism are just some of these issues. Racism and racist incidents sadly remain a reality in modern Britain, and schools rightly play a key role in building inclusive communities.

Our resources on these topics are written carefully and we regularly review them in light of changing guidance and best practice.

How we support schools

Our aim is to support school leaders to show leadership, especially when the theme is challenging and where they don’t have all the answers.  Our guidance encourages independent reading, community engagement, and whole school conversations specific to their individual school context.

Where there are differences of opinion about how to deal with challenging issues, it isn’t our job to insist on a particular course of action. We believe that headteachers are best placed to make decisions about what will work for their specific school and community, and that they need a wide range of resources to help them do so.

As with all of our resources and guidance, the subject-matter experts we work with to create the materials we share with schools on this topic have substantial education experience and are familiar with the challenges facing schools day-to-day.


Genuine inclusivity is a goal of all schools and is not always easy to achieve. It requires a climate that supports schools to engage with nuance and sensitivity.

We welcome any questions you may have about our resources or how we support you. Please do get in touch.

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