Our schools are still struggling to overcome the inequality baked into the system. All our students are hurt by this failure; that’s why we’ve been proud to support a grassroots effort by Wandsworth’s teachers and students to decolonise the curriculum in our schools.
This isn’t just about representation in reading lists, it’s about a fundamental change in the way we understand, talk about, and teach how race and our colonial legacy affects what we learn in schools. It’s about closing the gap in attainment between Wandsworth’s White British students and Black Caribbean ones. It’s about making sure all students get a wide and deep understanding of our society and the world.
On 19 November, our amendment to the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Paper to start doing this passed in the Education Committee thanks to support from the teacher and parent delegates that get a vote at this committee.
Aydin Dikerdem, Labour Councillor for Queenstown, said:
“Wandsworth Labour have secured commitments to decolonise the curriculum tonight, part of a grassroots campaign to support schools and educators in the borough. Making sure Wandsworth students have a rich and diverse curriculum is an important step in tackling prejudice and celebrating the diversity that makes our borough so special to live in.”
This makes it all the more disappointing that Wandsworth Conservatives voted against our residents. Despite their efforts, this is a big win for the local education activists who’ve spent months spreading best practice and calling for our borough to take the lead.
The text of our amendment to the the ‘Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (Paper No. 20-369):
‘The Executive are recommended to: follow up its positive work on diversity, equality and inclusion by publishing a clear public strategy around anti-racism in our schools. This strategy should build on and actively support school’s existing work on decolonizing the curriculum, and should demonstrate leadership from the Borough by proactively encouraging all schools to follow its strategy.’