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Race And Culture

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 says that public bodies (including state-funded pre-school facilities and nurseries) must have ‘due regard to the need’:

  • to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination; and
  • to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.

This applies to admission, assessment, raising pupils’ attainment levels, delivering the curriculum, discipline, guidance and support. Providers can’t claim that they don’t have the resources to meet these responsibilities.

This means that state-maintained schools need to make sure that they don’t discriminate against you or your child because of your background and they must respect your culture. Under the law, Romany Gypsies and Travellers of Irish Heritage are recognised ethnic groups.

Many pre-schools and nurseries celebrate Black History Month in October of each year as well as religious festivals like Diwali, Eidh, Ramadhan, Guru Nanak’s birthday or the crowning of Haile Selassie.

If you feel that your culture is not respected and reflected in school life and the curriculum or toys and activities available, you can discuss this with staff, perhaps together with other parents who feel the same way. This may be more difficult if you’re part of a very small minority but pre-schools and nurseries might value your contribution since all children will benefit. Schools also now have a duty to promote community cohesion (good relations between different communities).