In Ireland, equality legislation is based on The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004, and The Equal Status Acts, 2000 and 2004 which prohibit discrimination on nine grounds. These are gender, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, race, disability and membership of the traveller community.
St Aidan’s SNS has a Catholic ethos which welcomes pupils from all faiths and none.
St. Aidan’s SNS recognises that racism is an issue at all levels of Irish society. Our commitment to anti-racism is part of our wider commitment to equality and social inclusion. Furthermore, we acknowledge the diversity present in our school and claim that diversity as a benefit.
This code of practice has three parts
- Formal statement
- Procedures around breaches of policy (reporting racism and racist bullying)
St. Aidan’s SNS understands racism is a particular form of exclusion faced by minority ethnic groups. It is based on the false belief that some "races" are inherently superior to others because of skin colour, nationality, ethnic or cultural background. Racism denies people their basic human rights, dignity and respect. In our school we define a racist incident as being discriminated against, or being targeted, on the basis of colour, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religion/belief or language.
St. Aidan’s SNS is committed to this code of practice because:
- Racism is a problem in Irish society and we are challenged to demonstrate an intolerance of racism and solidarity with those who experience it.
- Our community is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and cultural difference challenges us to do things differently if we are to create positive outcomes for all.
- As in wider society, there is potential for racism in our own community and we seek to do what we can to prevent this from finding fertile ground.
- As with all organisations, there is potential for racism in our own organisation and we seek to prevent this potential being realised.
- We are actively committed to advancing the objectives and the expected outcomes of the National Action Plan against Racism.
- We are fully committed to adhering to the Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 and the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004 and to advancing equality at all levels.
St. Aidan’s SNS commits itself:
To make racism a visible issue through:
- Communicating the anti-racist ethos of our school in the mission statement, diversity code, school plan, job descriptions, staff induction manual, school reports, publications, website, school app, newsletters etc., in the symbols and images we use and in the messages we communicate.
- On-going examination of our own ethos so that anti-racism is central to our mission and the assumptions that underlie our work are proofed against racism.
- On-going awareness-raising and training on racism and anti-racist practice for our management and staff (teaching and ancillary) and in our inter-project and partnership working arrangements
- Acknowledging the particular oppression of women and girls from black and minority ethnic groups.
To ensure our decision-making procedures are anti-racist through:
- The participation of minority ethnic members of our community including Travellers, in our decision-making structures (eg Parents’ Association, Board of Management) and the provision of capacity-building supports and mechanisms to ensure this participation is effective.
- Networking with organisations articulating the interests of minority ethnic communities, (Tallaght Intercultural Action, Tallaght Travellers CDP) including Travellers to secure their input to key decisions and plans.
- Assessing all key decisions for their impact on racism and their contribution to positive outcomes for minority ethnic members of the community including Travellers.
- Making anti-racism actions a dimension of all our plans.
To pursue our role as employer in an anti-racist manner through:
- The manner in which jobs are advertised.
- The person specification prepared for jobs
- Recruitment and interviewing practices
- Providing opportunities for members of minority ethnic groups to participate in work experience.
- Taking action to create the conditions for favourable employment outcomes for members of minority ethnic communities, including Travellers.
To promote anti-racism and inter-culturalism in the materials we produce through:
- Ensuring materials produced and published are attractive and accessible to minority ethnic members of the community including members of the Traveller community.
- Developing materials that promote the organisation in a manner that captures our anti-racist commitment.
- Ensuring visual displays in school reflect diversity of school community
- Having a wide variety of culturally diverse children’s literature in school library
To develop intercultural approaches to our actions and service provision through:
- Gathering information on the needs and aspirations of minority ethnic members of the community including members of the Traveller community.
- Challenging incidents of racism as they arise within our organisation.
- Designing actions and services specific to minority ethnic members of the community, including members of the Traveller community, where this will enhance access to and outcomes from our work for these groups or where this will address culturally specific needs and a history of discrimination.
- Tracking, through the collection of data, the take-up by and outcomes for minority ethnic members of the community, including members of the Traveller community, from our actions and services.
To develop relationships with minority ethnic communities, including Travellers and their organisations through:
- Networking and developing partnerships with these organisations in developing our plans.
- Availing of these organisations as sources of information.
- Including these organisations on our contact/emailing lists.
- Resourcing these organisations where appropriate.
To take action in solidarity with minority ethnic communities, including Travellers through:
- Supporting campaigns pursued by these communities and taking up their issues in our campaigns.
- Raising these issues in the various fora where we are involved.
- Advocating anti-racist practice within local and national institutions.
Implementing this code
The current post holder with responsibility for SPHE, Pauline O’Hanlon, will monitor the implementation of this code and ensure it is brought to the attention of staff and the Board of Management when appropriate. All incidents of racism occurring in school or pertaining to the school will be reported to the principal and recorded in conjunction with the parties involved.
Staff and management will take responsibility for ensuring information flows to maintain our capacity to implement this code and will take part in anti-racist training when necessary.
The Diversity Committee will take part in various projects in connection with working for our Yellow Flag throughout the year- Yellow Flag art competition, intercultural day. A number of feast days will be highlighted throughout the year- Diwali, Ramadan, Eid.
6th class will take part in the Crocus Project (Holocaust Education Trust Ireland).
5th class will have anti- discrimination soccer workshops (SARI)
Show Racism the Red Card art competition will be highlighted and all classes invited to enter.
We encourage migrant students to maintain a connection with their mother tongue and culture, to assist in the development of their sense of identity, belonging and self-esteem, as well as their proficiency in the language of instruction
Identifying Racist Incidents
A racist incident is behaviour or language that makes a person ‘feel unwelcome or marginalised because of their colour, culture, religion, or national origin’ (Richardson, 2004). It is important to note that intentionality is irrelevant.
Categories of racist behaviour:
- Derogatory name-calling, insults, racist jokes and language.
- Verbal abuse and threats of a racist nature
- Physical assaults of a racist nature
- Ridicule based on differences of colour, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religion or language.
- Refusal to co-operate with others because of any of the above differences
- Stereotyping on the basis of colour, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religion/belief or language
- Racist comments
- Racist graffiti
- Written abuse of a racist nature including racist comments made by emailing or text messaging, or on any social media forums such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Damage to property motivated by racism.
- Incitement of others to act in a racist manner
- Provocative behaviour such as wearing racist badges, insignia or clothing
- Bringing racist materials such as leaflets, photographs or magazines into the school
Links to other policies
- Our Anti-Bullying policy includes issues with regard to minority children, including children from the Travelling Community under identity based bullying. Identity Bullying is described as a term that takes in to account the significant extent to which students may be more vulnerable to bullying because of prejudices, stereotyping and stigma against people with particular identities. (pg 21 of the Action Plan against Bullying).
- Code of Behaviour policy
Procedures for Dealing with Incidents of Racism
All reports of racism to a member of staff will be noted, investigated and dealt with by the member of staff and the principal. In this way, all members of the school community will be encouraged to “tell” about racist incidents within school. These general procedures will be followed:
- If a parent or guardian reports a racist incident to a member of staff, the parent/guardian will be asked to complete a racist incident report form. The incident will be investigated by the member of staff, and by the principal.
- If a child reports a racist incident to a member of staff, the member of staff (whether a teaching or nonteaching member of staff), will investigate and complete a racist incident report form. Incidents will also be reported to the principal.
- A member of staff should report a racist incident directed towards them, by another party, to the principal. The member of staff will complete a racist incident report form and the incident will be investigated by the principal.
- Where there is a report of a racist incident in school or within the school environs, the principal and the member of staff/school community involved, will meet with all parties to establish what happened and address the issues accordingly.
- In accordance with the Code of Behaviour, and Grievance Procedures, actions will be taken which could result in suspension, expulsion or dismissal. For other members of the school community, this could result in barring from the school grounds or school buildings.
A record will be kept of all racist incidents occurring in or pertaining to the school, by means of racist incident report forms. These records will give details of the offence, the parties involved, action taken and sanction imposed. Incidents which occur on the yard can also be logged in the Yard Report Copy. These records will be reviewed each term and will be used to monitor the frequency and nature of racist incidents and to measure the effectiveness of the methods used by our school in responding to them. Based on this information we may adapt the methods we use.
Roles and Responsibilities
It is primarily the role of the school to investigate and act upon a racist incident and to record and report further incidents. All incidents of racism occurring in school or pertaining to the school will be reported to the principal and recorded in conjunction with the parties involved. Following a racist incident, it is the role of the school and the principal to monitor future behaviour and to provide help and support for the victim, and education for the perpetrator. It is expected that parents/guardians and all members of the school community, will cooperate and work together with the school on a continuous basis to help eliminate any racist behaviour.
Revision of This Policy
This policy shall be regularly revised by the Board of Management of St Aidan’s SNS.
This policy was ratified and communicated in November 2017. It will be reviewed again in June 2018 and amended if necessary.
Signed: _________________________ Date:______________________