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Cardiff’s Mayor initiative on tackling racism in schools

Mount Stewart Primary School
The initiative has been rolled out at Mount Stewart Primary school Cardiff Source: Wikimedia commons.

By Dominic Williams | News Editor

During, Black History month Cardiff Lord Mayor Daniel De’Ath launched an anti-racism initiative in schools across South Wales.   

The initiative was launched in October by ‘’It’s Mandatory’ at Mount Stuart Primary school in Butetown. Mount Stuart Primary school was also the school that Wales’ first black headteacher, Betty Campbell MBE, worked.

This initiative hopes to train black and other ethnic minorities with skills to achieve more senior roles in education and other business sectors.  

The initiative which is under the ‘’Campbell network,’’ hopes to increase the representation of more inspiring black teachers across South Wales. In 2011 areas with the highest proportions of minority ethnic groups were shown in Cardiff to be at 15.2 percent. This percentage has increased since 2011, for example, schools in Butetown and Grangetown which have a large amount of BAME kids and such a tiny of amount of BAME teachers is something that the initiative hopes to change.  

Furthermore, a report of the BAME Covid-19 Socioeconomic subgroup, shown some of the equalities that BAME groups have faced in education since COVID-19. For example, ‘’ Black pupils have lower attainment than white British pupils during early years’ education. This attainment gap narrows at GCSE level with, for the latest period (2017-2019), 57.7% of black pupils achieving the Level 2 Inclusive threshold16 compared to 56.5% of white British pupils.’’  

Also, for other BAME groups, this gap is not narrowing; only 11.1% of Gypsy/Gypsy Roma pupils will meet this threshold. While there has been an overall increase in participation in higher education, white British students in Wales have an attainment lead of 8.5 percentage points over BAME students.  

The founders of it’s mandatory, admit there is a lot of work to be done and hope to improve social challenges and racism faced by young BAME people.  

A survey released in May by Show Racism The Red Card, involving 1,058 teachers and teaching assistants in Wales, has revealed that 68% of them have witnessed misconceptions and stereotypes from students relating to skin colour, nationality, and religious beliefs.  

Following on from this the organisation has provided Race advocate for youths (RAYS) training via ZOOM to help them identify and support children who may be facing racism. In the second stage of training, RAYS are looking at being equipped with DBS checks to allow work with children and their families.  

Along with schemes such as the Campbell network, a new taskforce made up of 14 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic experts will explore how to tackle race inequality in Cardiff following the Black Lives Matter protests in July.   

This taskforce aims to examine Issues in the BAME communities and how to offer support from aspects such as the workforce, increasing the diversity of councillors and council staff; and work with the Welsh Government’s audit of statues, street and building names of links with the slave trade.  

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