Merton school earns national award for commitment to inclusivity

A primary school from Mitcham, in the borough of Merton, received a national award for its commitment to racial equality and inclusivity in December.

Benedict Academy was given the Race and Conscious Equality (RACE) Charter Mark Silver Award by the Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT).

Benedict’s Head of School, Felicity Gilmore, was pleased with the recognition and felt it was only the first step into achieving the academy’s goal of equality.

She said: “This forward planning will have fantastic long-term effects on the diversity of staff, especially in leadership positions.

”These include career pathways for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic teachers, to improve accessibility to different careers within teaching.”

Gilmore thanked the STEP (Striving Together for Excellence in Partnership) Academy Trust for supporting them in their mission.

Benedict Academy is one of 12 London schools that are members of the STEP Academy Trust, which focuses on ensuring better life chances for all children, regardless of background.

The RACE Charter Mark Award

The RACE Charter Mark Award was a joint-creation by the SSAT and Fig Tree International.

It aims to recognize educational establishments in the UK with the dedication to make changes in regard to racial equality in all aspects of their work.

The academy underwent multiple training sessions for their senior/middle leaders and governors to ensure they had proper education on racial, diversity and inclusivity issues.

The SSAT commended the academy for their commitment and passion while looking forward to future collaborations with Gilmore and her institution.

Among the academy’s changes were plans for pupils to learn from role models of different backgrounds, a more diverse curriculum to promote equal representation,

They also added a role of RACE Lead as a senior position and a link governor for RACE.

Ann Palmer, CEO of Fig Tree International, said: “This recognises Benedict Academy’s determination to make a difference, not only in their own school, but also in the local community.

“We applaud them for their work and aspirations to build a more inclusive society.”

There are gold, silver and bronze variations of the RACE Charter Mark Award, marked as different levels of the award’s requirements.

Benedict Academy also received UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Schools Award at a silver level in December.

Featured image credit: Benedict Academy

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