Black Lives Matter Statement

17th June 2020

Statement on behalf of leaders in Leeds

As leaders in Leeds, we are horrified at the killing of George Floyd by police officers in the United States. We feel the pain, and hear the outrage, of all those facing injustice. We stand against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

Leeds is a richly diverse and multicultural city, something that we consider to be one of our key strengths. We are proud to work with fantastic individuals, communities and organisations that work tirelessly to create a fairer city for everybody.

As civic leaders we are committed to building a city in which everyone feels safe, valued and that they belong. While we are proud that Leeds is overwhelmingly a welcoming city, we recognise that unfortunately racism and discrimination still exists. Everybody in Leeds has a part to play to challenge racism and prejudice wherever we find it.

The tragic and appalling death of George Floyd has opened passionate conversations across the world about racism in our societies. In Leeds we welcome conversations about how, as a city, we can do more to eradicate racism and discrimination and to support those who have experienced it. This also requires honest conversations about our own history as a city, and how we wish to remember and relate to our past.

Eradicating racism and discrimination is everybody’s business. We stand with all those in Leeds who are working peacefully to support our communities, challenge injustices and create a fairer society. Together we will ensure that racism has no place in Leeds.

Bill Jones, Principal of Leeds City College and Deputy CEO Luminate Education Group

Luminate Education Group #BlackLivesMatter

The Luminate Education Group stands in solidarity with our Black students, staff and communities, and with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the fight against racism. Racism and intolerance, in any form, have no place at our schools and colleges. We are proud to have a diverse community of staff and students and strive to place equality at the heart of everything we do.

We recognise structural racism and understand that it is present in our communities. As educators, employers and students, we have a duty to act and an important part to play in actively confronting racism to achieve systemic change for our students and staff. We are committed to contributing to a movement that has a lasting impact on our community and beyond.

We will:

  1. Review our Equality Objectives and build anti-racist actions explicitly into the framework; we will develop and publish a five year plan for this work, led by staff identifying as  Black, Asian or from minority ethnic groups and supported by staff forums, student leaders and allies.
  2. Provide training and development opportunities; deliver anti-racism and unconscious bias training, building confidence and capacity in our networks of Equality Champions and staff forums and embed support for students or staff dealing with the effects of racism.
  3. Develop and deliver an anti-racist, inclusive curriculum; decolonise our curriculum, reviewing content and providing resources to support teachers to respectfully deliver anti-racism topics and ensure our curriculum embraces Black and Asian culture and history.

There is still lots to learn, and at times we may not get this right, but the students, staff and wider communities of the schools and colleges in the Luminate Education Group are committed to being a part of the change.

Leeds City College