Anti-racist Leadership Learning

Welcome to anti-racist learning.

As part of the EIS Anti-racist Strategy 2020-2021, a series of learning activities has taken place in collaboration with the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE), funded by Scottish Union Learning.

On this page you will find learning material developed from these sessions, including poetry from Hannah Lavery, learning videos from SAMEE, and a written learning resource giving practical guidance to support you in taking anti-racism forward in your workplace.

Begin your learning by listening to these powerful poems by Hannah Lavery, and reflect on –

“What I know is that an inchoate desire for a future other than the one that seems to be forming our days brings me to a seat around any table to lean forward, to hear, to respond, to await response from any other. Tell me something, one thing, the thing, tell me that thing”- Claudia Rankine.

  • How do you support this ‘leaning forward’, when so much about this work is also about recognising and sharing and giving up privilege?

Setting the context: Anti-racist leadership

  • How do you support this ‘leaning forward’, when so much about this work is also about recognising and sharing and giving up privilege?
  • How do you support connection and avoid withdrawal after a child experiences racism?
  • Do you see acts of racism as moments of trauma for a child? Trauma, that potentially damages and stays with a child for life?
  • Do you understand these moments as life defining?
  • Do you support families to support their child after racist incidents?
  • Do you understand that these incidents can also cause and trigger trauma in the parents?
  • How are you changing the narrative?

Understanding the problem

“Children targeted by racism have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and behaviour problems. Experiences of racial discrimination can make children feel less connected and less worthwhile… a child may react by withdrawing from activities they like or speaking up less in class.” Over time, learning suffers, and often, future opportunities as well…And racism is stressful — for children targeted by racist acts as well as those who observe them. When asked to recall a racist event they’d witnessed as a child, young adults had stress responses comparable to first responders after major disasters. Over time, the hormones the body releases under stress can damage a child’s physical and emotional health”

  • Do you support connection and avoid withdrawal after a child experiences racism?
  • Do you see acts of racism as moments of trauma for a child? Do you understand these moments as potentially life defining moments?
  • Do you support families to support their child after racist incidents? Do you understand that these incidents can also cause and trigger trauma in parents/families?
  • How can you support children to grow strength from their stories?

  • How does this link to your personal and professional values?
  • How confident do you feel in navigating conversations about racism?
  • How will you gain the trust and confidence of your BME colleagues?
  • How will you be able to effectively support a BME colleague who reaches out for some advice about their experiences in the workplace?

“All education is political. What we teach students from the bedrock of their understanding of the world” Buzzed

“… there is a chance to change this narrative. It’s not about guilt or one-dimensional stereotypes: if histories of exclusion, colonialism and the fierce resistance to much of this were more widely known, it could mean a more nuanced, inclusive understanding of the present.” Maya Goodfellow

  • How are you changing the narrative?

*Please be advised that sections of this clip contain swearing*

Allyship and Action

What should go in a Race Action Plan for Headteachers, Equality Reps and Local Association Secretaries to take anti-racist action, and who should be involved?

Download our Anti-racist Leadership Learning Resource for EIS Reps –