While the day-to-day work of SRtRC is focused around standalone sessions, designed to challenge thinking and spark interest in participants to find out more for themselves, the Spring term has seen Team Wales embark on a longer-term project, utilising local role models from the worlds of sport and music.
In collaboration with teaching staff at Greenhill School* it was decided that a sustained intervention would be beneficial to combat racism amongst pupils. The school staff were so keen to create a seismic shift in culture that a multi-layered approach was decided upon.
This new approach included:
· Weekly intervention sessions by a SRtRC education worker to cover every class in the school.
· Creation of a voluntary group of anti-racism ambassadors who received a weekly educational session and session with a guest speaker.
· A staff task force who created a ‘script’ for discussing racism with pupils and parents/guardians, and prioritised interventions using the SRtRC RAG Rating Culture Change form.
· Staff training
Future plans include further staff training and sessions for governors.
As a charity, we are hugely grateful to Wales Internationals in football and rugby (respectively), Neville Southall and Colin Charvis, as well as up-and-coming Cardiff-based musician, Reuel Elijah, for volunteering their time to talk to the pupils. The key messages that emerged were the importance of pursuing your passion, working hard and having respect for yourself and others.
While the intervention is still ongoing, the school has reported a decline in the number of racist incidents.
* a Pupil Referral Unit based in Cardiff