Friday, 26 June 2009

Aireborough Family of Schools celebrates Stephen Lawrence work

Schools belonging to the Aireborough cluster are to celebrate the completion of their Stephen Lawrence Education Standard portfolios at a special event at Leeds Civic Hall.

Over the last year, 13 schools have been working together to achieve the award which recognises successes in promoting racial equality and community cohesion in schools.

Children, young people, staff and parents will gather to celebrate the occasion - which has been organised by Education Leeds, the Aireborough Family of Schools and Aireborough Extended Services - at Leeds Civic Hall on Tuesday 30 June, between 1.30 and 3pm.

There will be performances by the Benton Park School’s jazz band, a talk from Aireborough Youth Council about the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard, as well as dance and drama performances from Queensway, Tranmere and Rawdon St Peter’s primary schools. The chief executive of Education Leeds, Chris Edwards, and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott, will also be attending.

The standard is unique to Leeds and so far over 160 schools and children’s centres in the city have achieved it. Park Lane college, was the first college to have achieved the standard in 2008.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“The Stephen Lawrence award is a great achievement for our schools. It encourages thoughtful, creative responses from our children and young people while increasing their awareness of equality and understanding. It is encouraging to see our younger generations continuing this city’s proud tradition of celebrating our cultural diversity.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“We want all our schools to be inclusive, brilliant learning places. The Stephen Lawrence award is helping our schools to achieve this through work which enriches the curriculum, broadens our young people’s horizons and embeds a culture of equality.

“It is fantastic to see the Aireborough schools working together on this important agenda, working with families and the community to build a thriving and healthy context for children, young people, families and older people to grow and develop.”

The Stephen Lawrence Education Partnership brings together community representatives from the Race Equality Advisory Forum, schools, Education Leeds and Leeds City Council’s equality officers to enrich the learning experiences of children and young people and empower them to be responsible global citizens, championing equality.

It aims to:
• Develop effective leadership and an approach which embeds race equality and community cohesion into the life of the school and beyond.
• Ensure that the duties of the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 and the 2007 duty to promote community cohesion are fulfilled
• Examine policies and their outcomes and guard against disadvantage towards any section of the community
• Acknowledge and celebrate existing good practice in promoting race equality and community cohesion, raise aspirations and achievement of all children and young people
• Improve the outcomes for children, young people and adults in our schools

For more information about the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard contact Rehana Minhas, director of equality and entitlement at Education Leeds on 0113 3950009.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The 12 criteria of the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard are:
1. A whole school approach. 2. School self-evaluation. 3. A written race equality policy. 4. Written anti-racist and anti-bullying policies, with clear procedures to deal with racial harassment and bullying. 5. An effective approach to monitoring and responding to racist incidents. 6. An inclusive policy on the procedures for pupil admissions, assessment and transfer. 7. A written policy for involving parents, carers and the community in working with and supporting the school. 8. An inclusive curriculum which positively reflects a culturally and religiously diverse society, promotes race equality, and prepares pupils to become responsible citizens. 9. An effective monitoring process of black and minority ethnic pupils, particularly to academic attainment and exclusions. Target should be set for improvement for all groups of children. 10. The effective monitoring of staff recruitment, staff development and governors appointments, with targets for recruitment from ethnic minority groups. 11. Mandatory anti-racist training for all staff and governors. 12. All policies should be linked to an action plan.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk