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Subject associations and anti-racism

Recently, I saw a tweet/post from the PSHE Association saying that Tes had reported that PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education) is ‘probably the single most important subject’ when it comes to the new Independent School Inspection outcomes given the greater focus on pupil wellbeing. If the PSHE Association believes that, why do they not have more resources around anti-racism? When I last checked, the only mention is the same mandatory statement everyone wrote after the murder of George Floyd and a sentence to say resources around #bullying and #discrimination can be adapted for anti-racism. Unfortunately, though, they are not alone. When I last checked, only 8 Subject Associations had easy-to-locate and impactful curriculum resources around # anti-racism on their websites. Thinking it may be behind a paywall, I asked every single one of them, but their silence confirmed that they didn’t. The Subject associations that have committed to producing anti-racism resources are- National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) The English Association | The English Association Home | Association for Citizenship Teaching ( Historical Association – the UK national charity for history Home – Association for Language Learning ( Association for Learning Technology ( National Association of Teachers of Religious Education ( Literacy – UKLA Why not more? Why do we still have such a long way to go? Joining a subject association is the best thing a subject specialist can do. They offer excellent CPD and networking opportunities, and membership helps you to keep up with the latest updates around your subject.   The Council for Subject Associations has a full list of members (31 in total) I love their strapline ‘The Council for Subject Associations – A Voice for Subjects’, but why haven’t they also committed to ensuring that all subject specialists are the voices for equality in their subject areas? Fortunately, I work for a local authority with an entire team of advisors around every subject area (except business studies). They share resources with all schools across the LA. We also have a brilliant rights-respecting school lead who supports schools to be fully inclusive. However, when it comes to finding resources from subject associations to support schools to become anti-racist schools, unfortunately, the resources are not readily available. As an umbrella union, The Trades Union Congress (The TUC) has stated that unions must be committed to anti-racism as part of their association conditions. I would love to see @CS4A do the same.

In 2016, the PSHE used a report entitled-

Report on racism and religious discrimination; calls for statutory PSHE (

As evidence that PSHE should be made compulsory in all UK schools.

‘The PSHE Association warmly welcomes the British Youth Council Youth Select Committee’s report on ‘racism and religious discrimination’, launched yesterday. The report’s recommendations include making PSHE education a statutory subject on the school curriculum.’

The report warns against people’s attitudes to racism and discrimination becoming ‘normalised’ and calls on the Government to do more to define racism and religious discrimination and raise awareness of what these definitions mean’.

They added- ‘A key recommendation of the report concerns making PSHE education compulsory in all schools, with teachers receiving better training on tackling racism and discrimination.’

After that, most of PSHE (Relationships Education in primary schools, Relationships and Sex Education in secondary schools, and Health Education in key stages 1 to 4) became statutory in September 2020 under the Children and Social Work Act but did not tackle racism and discrimination as they had suggested.

I wonder what made the PSHE move away from this as a focus after they had won their campaign?

In contrast to England, the Scottish Government have released a whole bank of resources to support schools to develop an anti-racist curriculum.

Wales has also produced a range of resources covering children’s rights to Equality and Non-Discrimination as part of their Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan.

They include classroom resources, booklets, and videos.

Ireland has also launched a National Action Plan against Racism.

It just leaves England now to catch up and I hope the PSHE will support them to do so.

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