Reach response to events in the USA

This afternoon we wrote to our parents and carers to share some reflections on the events in the US in the last week. The letter we sent is published below: 

Dear parents and carers, 

We know that many of you will have seen the news about the murder of George Floyd in America and the civil unrest that has followed. We know that many of you will have been moved by this news and these scenes, and we also know that some of you will feel that this is very distant from your own life and reality. 

We feel a huge sense of responsibility to our community and to the children we love and care for, alongside you, every day. In this situation we would normally talk to you, to each other and to the children about what is going on, what our role is in making things better, individually and collectively, and how we can equip ourselves with the knowledge to give us power when stopping oppression. We always try to conduct ourselves in the best way we can while acknowledging that sometimes we don't quite get things right. 

Our mission is that all children will leave our school able to enjoy lives of choice and opportunity. Over the past 8 years we have strived relentlessly to make that a reality for all, including creating the Reach Childrens Hub to provide additional capacity to support the whole community. 

We recognise that we are not yet doing all that we can to achieve that vision. The events in the US have prompted us to reflect and recognise that there are areas where we can do better. Constantly striving to do better is the commitment we make to you and your children. We will listen and seek to learn, and in particular, will: 

  • Commit to being anti-racist and actively and publically challenging racism when we encounter it

  • Commit to educating ourselves so that we are knowledgeable educators of our children on issues of racism

  • Commit to actively seeking a diverse staff body and governing body which is more reflective of our community

  • Commit to reviewing our curriculum and our classrooms to ensure that they are inclusive and culturally relevant

  • Commit to racially diverse libraries, displays and teaching materials that are always visible to all children

  • Commit to open, honest and challenging dialogue around issues of race and will be creating a community-led group to drive this

If you wish to discuss this with a senior member of staff, please email ed.vainker@reachacademy.org.uk. In addition to that, we will be writing to you again in the coming weeks to invite you to join the community group mentioned. 

We will be sharing an assembly with you this Friday to share with your children to help them to reflect with them on their feelings and reflections.  

We remain committed to working with you to make Reach an inclusive, supportive and safe place for our whole community. 

With our best wishes, 

Ed, Rebecca, Beck and Tilly