The recent tragic and shocking death of George Floyd has rightly galvanised support across the world for the Black Lives Matter movement, and we wish to add our voices to affirming our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, inclusion, and social justice within the early years, where children learn values that will build the society of the future.
We recognise that the early years community must do better if we are to meaningfully address racism, both in education and also across wider society. Children, families and practitioners in the early years must feel equally safe, valued, respected citizens within our settings and in wider society. Everyone has a role in ensuring that all voices are heard and valued, that discriminatory language and behaviours are challenged and that diversity in its all forms is embraced.
Early Education is committed to promoting anti-racism, inclusion, and diversity by the following means:
- We will commit to ensuring that all our pedagogic resources reflect the diversity we see across society, foregrounding minoritised voices where possible.
- We will seek to ensure that a diverse range of people, including those from BAME backgrounds, are invited to be speakers and trainers at all of our events.
- We will aim for the diversity of the population to be reflected in the profile of our trustees, Associates, Vice Presidents and members, and we will encourage our staff, trustees and Associates to learn about and be informed on issues relating to white privilege and our own unconscious biased behaviour, eg by recommending relevant reading matter.
- We will commit to ensuring that our training and events address topics related to anti-racism, inclusion and diversity as part of an ongoing conversation with our members and the wider sector, and that they emphasise the ongoing nature of engagement with this topic.
- We will campaign for action to support greater racial diversity at all levels in the early years workforce so that it reflects the population. For instance we will challenge government to follow up the Nutbrown Review (2012) recommendation that “The Department for Education should conduct research on the number of BME staff at different qualification levels, and engage with the sector to address any issues identified.” We will also recommend that government explore how well represented BAME staff are at different levels within the profession and address any barriers to progression for under-represented staff.
These commitments will form part of our workplan which will be regularly reviewed by our trustees.