Friday 7 October 2016

Make schools safe places in uncertain times

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

In my previous column for Unity Magazine I talked about the unpleasant tenor of the debate as the EU referendum neared, with the scapegoating of refugees and migrants a particular concern.

From Unity, anti-racist and anti-fascist magazine September-October 2016, issue 17. Email UAF to ask for printed copies

Regrettably this has continued and must surely be a contributory factor in the increase in racist attacks and hate crimes reported in recent weeks.

We must be steadfast in deploring racist and discriminatory behaviour of any kind. The NUT has a series of resources available to support teachers in order to challenge this type of behaviour when it arises in schools, including some produced in partnership with Show Racism the Red Card, the campaign that uses top footballers to educate against racism. Do check these out on the NUT website at

In these uncertain times it is vital that schools are safe places for all children and young people, free from the racism and negative language or attitudes which lead to bullying. Teachers should be congratulated for creating a culture and ethos that challenges harmful behaviour and ensures all parents and pupils are welcome and safe in school.

I hope to see many readers of Unity Magazine at the Stand up to Racism national conference in London on Saturday 8th October. This promises to be an important event. From it I hope we can develop an action plan to take our message of “No to Racism, Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism” into every community in the country.   

For the latest news and updates from the National Union of Teachers please follow us on twitter @NUTOnline and check out our Facebook page NUT Campaigns.

Best wishes,

Kevin Courtney
General Secretary
National Union of Teachers (NUT)

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