The shocking events following the recent tragic death of George Floyd in the USA have rightly caused us to reflect on our own values and attitudes towards racism – both as individuals and as a School community.
The ethos of Royal High School Bath is centred around kindness and respect for others, and our global outlook, and international community is a highly valued aspect of our School. Our response to these events reflects this, and will be meaningful and sustained. We have listened to, and are learning from many voices from within our School community – students, staff, parents and our alumnae too.
Our initial actions have included a significant audit by staff of their subject areas to ensure they reflect balance and representation. It is clear that the majority of subjects taught at Royal High School Bath incorporate debate, balance and challenge around racism, yet we know we could do more. Our students have discussed #BLM and the wider subjects of race and ethnicity within their Tutor Groups, in PHSE and lessons too, and our Senior School students have been asked to tell us about their experiences of racism, and responses will be gathered later this week.
Girls’ Day School Trust Chief Executive, Cheryl Giovannoni has called for the development of a GDST Charter of Action – this will be developed by a cross-school steering committee involving students and alumnae, as well as staff. This group will influence and determine the goals of all GDST schools for the future.
Royal High School Bath is a contemporary School, we have adapted and changed significantly over 180 years, and for many in our community, their experience of the school is historic. We are grateful to those students, past and present, who have contacted us to share their thoughts and ask for ours – long may this continue, much like a family, this is how we grow as a community.
Speaking out about racism is key to tackling it, and this Friday, we will hold an assembly which will form the basis of ongoing discussion within the School – this has been driven by the desire of so many of our students and staff who are, and have always been advocates of #BLM and a fairer society for all.
Mrs Kate Reynolds
Head – Royal High School Bath