27th December 2013
The EIS is calling for anti-racist education to be made a requirement in all Scottish Schools.
The EIS has carried out an evaluation of current anti-racist education provision in schools across Scotland, and was disappointed to find that a large number of local authorities have no specific anti-racist education policies.
Of the 24 local authorities (out of 32) who responded to the EIS enquiry, only four had a dedicated anti-racism education policy, while three more had policies that made some reference to anti-racist education.
Seventeen of the responding authorities had no specific policy covering anti-racist education. The EIS believes this should be addressed as a matter of priority.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said "The EIS Equality Committee was genuinely surprised at the inconsistent approaches to anti-racist education that have been adopted across the country.
"While some authorities have well-developed policies, others have no specific anti-racist education policy or consider this area of work within other existing strategies, such as anti-bullying policy.
"The EIS believes that anti-racist education should permeate the curriculum in all learning establishments and should be seen as a fundamental part of the learning and teaching process. Young people in schools must grow up learning that we are all part of a multi-ethnic society and it is essential that all schools provide education on this topic in order to develop positive values and behaviour.”
Mr Flanagan continued, "Scotland is a multi-ethnic country with a sizeable migrant population, and it is extremely important that all pupils are taught the importance of valuing all members of society as part of their citizenship education.
"With the worrying rise of the far-right in some parts of the UK, together with the ideologically-driven demonisation of many migrant groups by some politicians and certain sections of the tabloid press, it is essential that we take appropriate steps to educate all our young people on anti-racism while highlighting the cultural value of the diverse ethnic mix that exists throughout Scotland.
"The EIS continues to work in partnership with organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card to support schools in their anti-racist work, but it is clear that more needs to be done in many local authority areas to embed this in all schools.”