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Tackling racism: question of the week

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Is there guidance on tackling racism within the school community?

This may be a familiar concern for schools up and down the country, with the BBC reporting that over 87,000 racist incidents were recorded in schools between 2007 and 2011.

This question, asked by one of The Key's school leader members, got me thinking about what role schools can play in dispelling racial tension within their communities, and whether it is right to punish primary school pupils for mimicking the behaviours of their parents. Can pupils as young as four really be “racist”?

Guidance from Hertfordshire Council suggests schools should “take the lead” in combating racial tension, but this may be easier said than done within communities where prejudices are deeply ingrained. The article explores how schools can challenge parents’ attitudes and respond to racist incidents involving young children.

Members of The Key's school leader service can read our answer here.

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