21 Mar Coleridge Families statement regarding the open letter from CARN
Recently an open letter was sent to school and shared amongst much of the Coleridge community. The letter came from CARN (Coleridge Anti Racist Network). CARN are a group of school parents who have joined together with two primary aims – a) to share and support each other on the subject of families having experienced racism at Coleridge Primary School, and b) to strengthen the school’s commitment to anti-racism and to drive urgent and necessary change.
Coleridge Families as a group really wanted to express how deeply saddened we were to read the contents of the open letter, and the extent to which this has become a reality for some of the children at our school. We also wanted to acknowledge what it must have taken for these families to share painful experiences and relive these episodes in the hope of bringing about meaningful changes at school and significant improvements in how children and families can enjoy their time at Coleridge without any forms of racism impinging on their experience.
As a fellow parent group who wish to ensure the best experience for all pupils at the school, Coleridge Families would like to take this opportunity to pledge our desire to be part of the changes that need to be put in place in order to help the CARN group achieve their well-considered objectives for the school. As a group we fully support CARN in the questions and requests for action outlined in the open letter. We recognise what the families of the CARN group have been through to get to this point and would like to co-operate with the group in whatever role may be most helpful to achieve their objectives. We also recognise, however, that it should not be left to the CARN group to take on all the work needed to establish meaningful changes. Change starts with all of us, and Coleridge Families very much hope to be part of that journey. Coleridge Families wish to support our whole school community – to listen, learn, heal and act. We were encouraged to see the list of actions already taken by the school on this matter and the further changes planned moving forwards.
Again, we are very sorry that this has been a lived reality for any families at the school and we will continue to support meaningful changes to be sustained in the years ahead.
Contacts and links:
If any parents are interested in joining the CARN group then please use the following link to join their WhatsApp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/BEFo0O6unm7I6olqClvVTC
If you would like to help the movement for change, then please consider signing the following national petition to make racial literacy statutory: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/make-racial-literacy-training-statutory-for-all-teachers
Members of the CARN group have worked hard to compile a list of useful resources on the topic of racism/anti-racism. We thank them for this work and include the resource links from their open letter below:
Everyday Racism for training on the antiracist school
The Black Curriculum for free resources and paid services including teacher training, arts-based black history teaching, assemblies and guest speakers: https://theblackcurriculum.com/
Early Years anti-racist training and consultancy: https://www.theblacknurserymanager.com
Resources to help understand the mental health impact of racism on children and young people: https://www.annafreud.org/insights/news/2022/03/new-anti-racism-resources-for-schools-to-help-young-people-s-mental-health/
New York Times Podcast – Nice White Parents
Wish We Knew What to Say – Talking with Children About Race by Pragya Agarwal
What is race? By Nikesh Shukla and Claire Heuchan