Sustaining Vision - Racial Justice
Dear colleagues,
Sometimes as leaders we just have to start with where we’ve got things wrong. It’s not the glamorised part of leadership, and there aren’t a huge number of leadership models which seems to prioritise this (although the focus on vulnerability from Brene Brown has clearly made a huge difference in this sense). When it comes to racial justice, there are so many ways that our society needs to stop, acknowledge its serious errors, long-term systemic failures and consider any action through a deeply contrite heart.
The events of the past week have continued to shake the globe awake about the issues that pervade our society, and the desperate need for systemic anti-racist actions. We have heard beautiful and painful stories from school leaders who in marking Stephen Lawrence Day on Thursday found incredible wisdom and hope in the voices of children, eager to see a change, not able to understand the decisions of previous generations. Equally the Church of England published its much anticipated Anti-Racism Taskforce report, From Lament to Action on Thursday, containing significant and culture-shifting recommendations for the wider church, and some key educational recommendations, which I would encourage you to read.
As a national organisation we are committed to that journey, not just in words, which continue to be easy, but in the hard yards of actions that we must choose to take together. From curriculum reform to recruitment of leaders at all levels, we continue to commit to that work together – as national teams, as Dioceses, as MATs, as schools – not for the short-term, but because we cannot look back in 2030 or 2040 and still be in the position we are now. It is vital that we all play our part.
This week’s podcast with Chine McDonald was an absolute privilege and I warmly commend her new book to you all – it’s challenging and persuasive giving real hope for the future, building from the pain of the past. Her interview is one to listen to for sure, and to share with your wider teams.
We have not done nearly enough, but our commitment is to long-term change, catalysed by short-term tangible action. Please do reach out to us if you would like to be a part of this, as there are many ways you can get involved.
With all love and encouragement as ever,

Andy Wolfe
Deputy Chief Education Officer
Foundation Update
We are delighted to be one of the DfE's chosen providers for the full suite of NPQs starting in September 2021. There are three specialist qualifications, replacing previous generic middle leader training, as well as NPQs for Senior Leaders, Headteachers and Executive Leaders. We are currently meeting with schools and trusts interested in being delivery partners for these programmes as well as those who might be interested in participating. If you would like to know more, you can find all the information here.
Listen to this week's podcast here: Sustaining Vision (Racial Justice)
This week's podcast conversation is with Chine McDonald, Head of Public Engagement at Christian Aid and author of upcoming book God is not a White Man. Chine talks with Andy Wolfe about perceptions of God, sustaining justice long term, body image and the hope presented by young people today.
Resources to support schools in Sustaining Vision (Racial Justice)
It is vital we continue to work for full justice and equality for all. The picture the Bible gives us of the Kingdom of God is a place where every race, ethnicity and culture is represented living free, whole lives. As Dr Elizabeth Rios says, 'Justice is not a liberal idea, it's not a political idea. It's a God idea.'
So how do we make sure we keep pushing forward, courageously?
On Thursday 22nd April, the Church of England's Anti-Racism Task Force released this call to action for the whole church sector, including education and church schools. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued this statement to accompany it. We would encourage all schools to engage with this report, and play their part in ensuring racial justice for all our children, young people and adults.

‘Sustaining is not simply doggedly holding to a particular position, or reinforcing particular traditions, but rather it is about the basic convictions and commitments we live and grow in, and being open to radical change.’
Called, Connected, Committed Sustaining Vision

'"Radical reform" was to be fundamental reform, reform that made changes to the very root of the system, especially by pushing for... suffrage.'
Learn about the history of the word radical, and its etymological roots: Merriam-Webster
What systemic, root changes are you making in your context to secure justice and equity for all?
Last week, our country marked Stephen Lawrence Day - 28 years since a young talented person, with his whole life in front of him, was murdered in a racially motivated attack. This video is a reminder to us all that there is still a way to go to ensure what happened to Stephen Lawrence never happens again - and that we all have a part to play in that.
The Stephen Lawrence Foundation are in the process of developing curriculum resources - something you might want to consider taking part in: School Leaders : Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation
Chine McDonald speaks in this week's podcast about how her new book 'ended up being about race and body image and how those things impact on each other, and what it's like growing up as a black woman in a white majority society'.
Jodi-Ann Burey's TED talk explores the topic of 'bringing your full, authentic self to work' as a black woman. This is essential viewing for anyone who is committed to ensuring their school or organisation is truly a place where everyone can belong. Is yours?
What vision do you have for justice in your context?
How is that being lived out through action in your community?
Who holds you accountable for the implementation of your vision, and how enacted it is?
A Prayer for School Leaders

Forgive us, Lord,
We have looked away from injustice,
We have walked by on the other side,
We have not spoken out against inequity,
We have failed to act or bring about change.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Stir us to real and lasting action,
Show us how your heart yearns for justice,
That we may love expansively, compassionately, inclusively,
Just as Jesus did.

Give us eyes to see our peers' pain and unequal treatment
Give us ears to hear voices that are different from our own
Give us mouths that speak out against hate and injustice
Give us feet that are swift to step up and walk alongside
Give us hands that will bless and heal and bring peace
Give us hearts that are strong enough to never give up.

Forgive us, Lord,
We have looked away from injustice,
We have walked by on the other side,
We have not spoken out against inequity,
We have failed to act or bring about change.

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

This beautiful medley of well-known hymns is really stunning to listen to. Try to stay with it until the end - the interwoven prayers are hugely powerful and moving.
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