Page 4, 31st August 1990

31st August 1990
Page 4
Page 4, 31st August 1990 — Proof of no schools' racism?
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People: Pam Ware
Locations: London

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Proof of no schools' racism?

OUR family is "in education" here in South London's inner city, either as pupils at catholic schools or as teachers in both the catholic and state sectors.

can affirm, at least and especially in the schools our children have attended, the dedication, hard work and imaginative flair of the staff in integrating into their teaching a knowledge and celebration of the different cultures of the people at school, in the locality and in different countries in the world at large. However, I wonder at the confidence with which your editorial headline proclaims "No racism in church schools" (August 17).

The contrast with the local college of further education where I work and what I know of the catholic sector prompts many questions but I will restrict myself to a few: the number of jobs in the gift of governors of catholic schools is huge whether it be for teaching or support staff; how many and which such jobs are given to people from different ethnic communities living in Britain?

How many black (or members of other minority ethnic groups) teachers are there in our schools? How many white catholic parents would welcome their children being taught by black teachers, notwithstanding the excellent role-models such staff are for all the pupils in a school?

How many of those black teachers receive an allowance for taking on extra responsibility? How many black senior teachers or deputies? Are there any black head-teachers in our catholic schools? How many black school governors are there? Are there any black people responsible for chairing the governing body of a catholic school? Are there any black parish priests — who, as such, often chair the local school's governing body and as such have a crucial influence on a school's appointments procedure and on who gets the job on offer?

Research and publish those figures and then see how confidently your editorial can be headed with "No racism in church schools". I hope you could still do it. Certainly, if our catholic christian faith means anything you should be able to say it confidently but will the facts and figures let' you? It would be interesting to know.

Pam Ware

London SW9




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