NEU & Race
The NEU is committed to challenging racism in all its forms and to campaigning for the rights for all our members and students. We work to influence policies at school, local and national levels relating to both working conditions and rights for our members and for the young people we work with. We work with other unions and organisations who share our aims.
The NEU uses the term ‘Black’ to refer to all members of Black and Minority Ethnic communitys. We have a reserved National Executive seat elected by the members of the NEU who register as Black on our data base.
There is an annual Black Educators Conference which currently takes place over a weekend in November and which is open to any Black member to apply. If you would be interested in applying for this conference please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
TH&C district is keen to increase the involvement and activity of Black members in the work of the Union. If you would like to be more involved or require some advice or information, please contact us via email email@example.com
In 2021, we organised an online training session on challengin racism in education. We are planning to run further training on this topic in Spring 2022.
You can also contact the NEU Advice Line 0345 811 8111 or further contact details can be found here
TH&C District Membership & Equalities Officer: Kiri Tunks
NEU National Executive Seat Holder for Black Members: Den Henry
Contact Den here: Den.Henry@neu.org.uk
We are currently building up examples of good equality resources for anti-racism, antisexism, decolonising the curriculum, disability, LGBT+.
If you have any examples of good practice or ideas please email them to Alex.Kenny@neu.org.uk
More Information and resources on race issues
Advice on race discrimination
The Trade Union Co-ordinating Group has produced this pamplet: TUC Trade unions fighting racism and far right
Tackling antisemitism NEU & TUC resources
This framework has been designed to help you explore ideas around race equality and plan how to tackle racism with children, young people and staff.
It offers discussion starters in your workplace to help:
- Empower Black staff and pupils to explore and express what matters to them.
- Support young people’s right to speak out and engage as active citizens with the issues around racism that they care about.
- Challenge racial inequalities and oppressive racial norms and assumptions.
Key points to think about with colleagues:
- Often, we do not immediately recognise racial inequalities, or understand institutional racism because incidents are not necessarily overt or recognised as part of a pattern.
- The aim should be to explore the patterns of racism and not use a deficit model (such as ‘close the gap’) where solutions are targeted at changing the individual student or group.
- Black staff and pupils are not homogenous groups. All staff and pupils have identities which are unique to them. These identities include our ethnicity, but also our gender, sex, sexuality, disability, class and religion or belief. There are also differences in the way that different groups of Black staff or pupils are treated.
- The responsibility and expectation of challenging racism should not fall to Black staff or pupils, but they have a unique perspective and have particular understanding and expertise about exclusionary practices and policies. Their viewpoints and experiences should be considered closely.
For more information about the NEU anti-racism charter please click here.
We are collating resources for members to use in school:
Black History Month 2020 – resources for use all-year round
Curriculum resources: anti-racism
Curriculum resources: decolonising the curriculum
Please send us any resources you have created or would recommend.
Barriers report: the impact of racism on BME teachers
The key findings of the “Visible and invisible barriers: the impact of racism on BME teachers” report include:
- Schools with higher concentrations of BME students and BME teachers were perceived to be less inclusive for BME students
- Incidents of racism in some schools were being dealt with as ‘behavioural’ issues
- Primary schools were more inclusive and welcoming environments for BME staff, whereas secondary schools were considered more inclusive and welcoming for BME students
- BME teachers reported experiencing barriers to promotion and career progression
Union advice on discrimination
Reports from Events
Stand Up to Racism!
On behalf of the London Black Teachers Network and the East London Teachers Association, I attended the Stand up to Racism Conference on 21st October in London. The audience was a diverse crowd with representatives from the NEU/NUT, Unison, NHS with a wide variety of speakers; councillors, politicians, Grenfell survivors, lawyers, and numerous community groups. The day began with morning workshops followed by a plenary entitled ‘Confronting the rise of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism’. There was so much discussion in the plenary that the session ran well into the lunch break!
After lunch I attended a workshop – ‘Grenfell: Institutional Racism and the Social Cleansing of our Cities’ with emotional contributions by the community as well discussion about housing policy disadvantaging the most vulnerable. The final plenary -Building A Movement chaired by Sabby Dhalu Co-Convenor of SUTR featured Kate Osamor MP, Cllr Claudia Webb, rapper Lowkey, Roger McKenzie, Unison, Harun Khan Muslim council of Britain, Salam Yaqoob activist, our Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney and Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary. Again much discussion re the way forward and some of the key quotes are as follows; “the need to stand up for racism, need to work more in the local community, the need to learn and relearn solidarity, need for more empathy and compassion, racism mustn’t be normalised and movement comes from below not above”.
This was a great event to attend to hear from such a wide variety of people working on the anti racism agenda and how the movement must continue, it sharpens your focus and resolve in going forward.
LBTN Committee Member
Read the latest London Black Teachers Network newsletter here LBTN newsletter Vol 3 No 2
Our Commitment to Fighting Racism
The NUT opposes racism in all its forms and is involved in a range of campaigns and initiatives working to improve equality for members and students. Find out more about the national work of the Union here. We work to influence policies at school, local and national levels relating to both working conditions and rights for our members and for the young people we work with. We work with other unions and organisations who share our aims.
East London Teachers’ Association has a proud tradition of challenging racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and fascism and a commitment to fighting for equality for all members is central to the work we do.
ELTA is keen to increase the involvement and activity of Black and minority ethnic members in the work of the Union. We also want to ensure that BAME members are not being discriminated against.
Recent events have seen a rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic attacks and abuse. There is also some concern about Prevent & Channel. The Union has produced this guidance on Education and Extremism.
The Union has also produced advice on teaching about Conflict in the Middle East
You can find other useful resources and research here
Please contact us if you would like to get more involved or would like some advice Alex.Kenny@neu.org.uk
TH&CNEU Membership and Equalities’ Officer: Kiri Tunks
NEU Executive Member for Black Teachers: Den Henry
TUC Black Workers
The TUC campaigns against racial discrimination, institutional racism and for race equality for Black workers at work and in society. The TUC uses the term Black worker as a political description of workers who are viewed and treated as culturally and intellectually inferior because they are perceived to be non white and who often share a common history of oppression and exploitation through colonialism and imperialism.
The TUC’s work on campaigning for race equality has been guided by the TUC Race Relations Committee which was established in 1985 and by the annual TUC Black workers conference which first met in 1988.
Following the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, the subsequent successful campaign supported by the TUC for an inquiry into his death, and the publication of Sir William Macpherson’s Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report in 1999, the TUC set up its own Task Group in 2000. The Task Group’s work was an extension of the priority given by the General Council to race issues, As a result of the task group’s work the TUC constitution was changed in 2001 making it a condition of membership that unions fight and promote equality.
Advice and information
The TUC publishes guidance for trade unions on tackling racism in the workplace taking into account recent legal changes and current good practice,
There are now Black workers groups within all major UK trade unions; members should visit their union’s website for further information. In addition, regional trade union Black Workers Committees or networks function in most of the TUC regions and in Wales.
The TUC also publishes Black Matters a newsletter bringing you news on issues about black workers and employment. Subscribe here.
You can find recent TUC information and materials on the work of the TUC in the following areas:
– Black Workers and the Labour Market
– Black Workers Conference
Anti-Racist Teaching Resources
Refugees – teaching resources
Holocaust – teaching resources
Black History Month