Monday, 12 October 2009

"The Stephen Lawrence Education Award is a sign of a good, cohesive and tolerant school"

This appeared on the DCSF website over the weekend...

"Ed Balls today praised a race equality initiative in Leeds and announced plans to promote the Stephen Lawrence Education Awards to all local authorities across the country. The awards, which are supported by Stephen Lawrence’s mother Doreen, help schools to promote race equality by formally recognising and ‘kitemarking’ good practice in schools. The Stephen Lawrence Standard was developed in partnership between Education Leeds, Leeds City Council and Black and minority community representatives, in response to the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and the publication of the MacPherson Inquiry Report into Stephen’s death in 1999. Two-thirds of schools in Leeds are already taking part in the initiative and Ed Balls now aims to promote this to all local authorities across the country.

Attending a ceremony celebrating the achievements of the participating schools in Leeds, Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, said:

"Schools have a key role to play in building a fair, integrated and tolerant society for all children growing up in Britain today. I believe a Stephen Lawrence Education Award is a sign of a good school. It means they’re committed to doing all they can to show that racism has no place in their school and that pupils understand different cultures and backgrounds.

“Winning a Stephen Lawrence Education Award is a great achievement and I congratulate all of the schools, teachers and pupils who are leading the way in Leeds. I want to do more to spread what Leeds is doing to other areas where it can also make a real difference.”"

It is testament to the successes of the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard that the Secretary of State attended the ceremony this year. The award is unique to Leeds but is a fantastic example of what can be done to promote the importance of race equality to all children and young people. We want all schools to be inclusive, brilliant learning places and this amazing scheme is really helping. It enriches learning, broadens young people’s horizons and embeds a culture of equality in our schools and communities. I hope that this initiative by the DCSF will enable schools across the country to benefit from our learning here in Leeds.

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