2020 will long be remembered as a significant and unprecedented year, in which the foundations on which our societies are built have been truly shaken in many different ways. A good deal of our attention has been concentrated on the response to Covid-19 and the ensuing global pandemic. Nonetheless, the killing of George Floyd in the United States sparked protests that went beyond its borders. The response of people through various channels, including the Black Lives Matter movement, triggered a far deeper reflection in the wider world of our understanding on issues of racism, prejudice and social injustice in society.
This has been a wake-up call in so many ways. Organisations of all types, as well as the communities within them, have been challenged to look seriously at themselves and question whether they are truly as inclusive as they believe or wish to be. At The Hall, we are proud of the diversity in our school. As part of our school values, we encourage our pupils and staff to respect, appreciate and celebrate differences. We work together to ensure that pupils and staff are able to learn and teach in a supportive, caring and safe environment, without fear of being bullied and free from discrimination and harassment. Nevertheless, whilst we claim to be a diverse and inclusive community, we must take the time to challenge this premise, address any shortcomings, and emerge stronger.
Education, and particularly schools, are very much at the heart of promoting equality, and it is our responsibility to ensure that every member of our community feels enabled to succeed irrespective of their race, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation. We need to encourage a continual, open and reflective dialogue around diversity and inclusion whilst aiming to fully equip ourselves to understand and address the complex social issues at the heart of inequality and prejudice. We will not tolerate racism at The Hall, but we can also go further by acknowledging the role we can play in dismantling systemic racism. There is a lot we already do, but there is always so much more we can do.