4th Jul, 2020

St Augustine's headteacher applauds pupils for demanding black history be taught

Harry Leach 30th Jun, 2020

THE headteacher at St Augustine’s Catholic High School has applauded his pupils after they penned an open letter calling for black history to be taught on the school’s curriculum.

The letter, which had more than 310 signatures, including school staff and parents, was sent to governors and headteacher Mr Gerald O’Connor last week.

Mr O’Connor has since thanked former pupil Lorna Treen who organised the action following the death of George Floyd to police brutality in America.

“I want to thank Lorna, our alumni, parents, pupils and staff who want to drive this forward,” he said.

“As headteacher of Saint Augustine’s and with support of my governors I fully embrace this cause.

“I am personally leading plans to utilise the committed support of our community to drive forward meaningful change.

“We welcome the international spotlight to ensure equality and diversity across the globe.”

Mr O’Connor added that he is currently lobbying the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, for permanent change to the national curriculum.

He told the Standard that St Augustine’s often engages with its students over issues surrounding prejudice and equality.

“We are proud that Ofsted recognised the school as a totally inclusive environment and that the manner in which the school works to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is ‘outstanding’.

“We support all sections of our community and we have immense success with our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and staff in the schools that we support across Birmingham, Sandwell, Coventry and Worcestershire.”

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