19.12.2018

Racism in British schools

Racism is a common experience for black and brown students in British schools. Research with black mixed-race young men has shown that schools do not do enough to tackle racism. Most obviously, this manifests in the inadequacy of school responses to racist incidents. This is not just about individual teachers but a lack of clear school-wide or nationwide policy.

Interpersonal racisms threaten to provoke feelings of alienation and isolation among black and brown students. Those that tackle racism head on – often compelled to do so by a lack of faith in school procedures – are placed at risk of facing disciplinary procedures and school exclusion, the consequences of which are profound. At this point, focus is quickly shifted away from the racist incident and the school’s inadequate response, and towards the stereotype of the ‘unruly’ black student.

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