Reena Patel is a head teacher in Cardiff, Wales, committed to making her school an anti-racist environment. Patel experienced racism firsthand in her career as a supply teacher when she was called racist names by children. A potential employer also told her that she “didn’t reflect the community” when she applied for a head teacher job.
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In response, Patel has started training her predominantly white teachers to create an anti-racist environment at her school. So far, the training has been well-received, and Patel is hopeful that it will make a lasting difference in how her school community understands and combats racism.
So far, she has taught her staff about the history of racism in Britain and its damaging effects on people of colour today. She has also worked to create a more diverse curriculum that includes the experiences and perspectives of people of colour.
Patel is hopeful that her efforts will help change the culture at her school and make it more inclusive.
According to an interview with BBC News, “nine in 10 of the 480 children at her school, Kitchener Primary in Cardiff, are from an ethnic minority background.” This makes Patel’s work all the more important, as she uses her authority position to help create a more inclusive and just society for everyone.
These students deserve to see themselves represented in their curriculum and know their experiences are valued. Patel’s work is vital in ensuring that all students feel seen and heard and have the opportunity to thrive in an environment free from racism.
Patel’s story is a reminder that racism is still a very real problem in society and that we all need to do our part to fight it. We can all learn from her example and work to create more inclusive environments in our communities.
What do you think of Patel’s work? Do you think it will make a difference in the fight against racism? Let us know in the comments below.
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