We are deeply saddened to have read over the past week or so the experiences of BAME people across the world, including members of our own community.
The dialogue generated with our current and former pupils, parents and staff will have a very positive impact on the School's culture and attitude to racism in the future. There is a real sense of purpose and backing from the whole Charterhouse family for the work we have already begun to make the School a better place when it comes to teaching and learning about racism, the history of the civil rights movement, colonialism and combating all forms of discrimination.
George Floyd's horrendous death will act as a catalyst for lasting and meaningful change in the best institutions across the world, and we are determined that Charterhouse will be one of them. We absolutely condemn any sort of racism or discriminatory behaviour at all times, and in all its forms. Any reported incident of racial abuse is investigated and dealt with firmly whilst also being sensitive to the feelings of the victim of any such unacceptable behaviour. But we recognise that the practicalities of dealing with everyday racism and discrimination are much more subtle than that and require a great deal more care and attention as well as practical steps for improvement. At Charterhouse we want to do much better in this area and that's why we are prioritising this and working with our BAME pupils and alumni community as this will bring the best results.
Over recent days we have been engaging with pupils who have been in touch with us already with their views and suggestions, and we held a meeting with them to discuss the points they have raised, hear past experiences and new ideas, plan how to include future initiatives from the Inclusivity, International Student and Pride pupil-led Committees, and to discuss the next steps that the School and pupil leaders will take when we are back in School. We recognise that, if this is to be lasting change which really embeds, this is going to be a journey with some distance to travel ahead of us. We are holding a second meeting with BAME pupils in the coming days and we will be conducting BAME open forums, surveys, staff training and other initiatives when we are able to return to the campus to make sure that momentum is maintained. A specific 'action on racism and discrimination' plan is being drawn up which will have short-term elements, but it will also be strategic and long-lasting.
There will be many opportunities to continue this work from September in Chapel, Assemblies, House Meetings,Tutorials and the like and we will need pupil leadership too in helping this to be really powerful, inviting everyone to be part of the discussion and solution.
Our pupils have told us that they see education as a major part of what needs to be done. Academic Heads of Departments have been discussing a review of the entire curriculum which we have launched this week to consider all of our current literature, culture and history content and how that can be diversified. This will be a holistic review, not just restricted to the classroom and selected subjects.
The School recognises that there is always more to be done to improve understanding across our own community and to prepare our young men and women to be role models in promoting a tolerant, open and truly diverse society where all people are treated equally. We will continue to work closely with our pupils and alumni to gain a better understanding from their experiences because we believe that together we can seize this opportunity to make Charterhouse an even better place.