Students stage demo over equality concerns

DOZENS of pupils at Redland Green School left their lessons to join a protest aimed at highlighting their views about racism and other equality issues.

 The demo happened on December 5, beginning during the morning break. The school said in a statement that the peaceful protest took place on the Astroturf and the school site and that “students remained supervised and safe at all times”.

“The fire alarm was triggered, and all students, including those protesting, quickly followed the evacuation protocol. All students were back in classrooms as usual by 12.05, and for the rest of the day. None of the exams currently taking place at the school were disrupted,” the statement said.

“Some classroom doors were closed during the protest so that learning wasn’t disturbed. An inaccurate report suggested that considerable damage was caused in the school, which was incorrect;  however a bin was knocked over as students moved through the school.”

RGS said it was committed to equality, diversity and inclusion;  pupils were encouraged to express themselves, and difference was celebrated throughout the school year. It has a number of student EDI groups which have been organising of activities to widen students’ cultural knowledge and awareness.

Headteacher Ben Houghton said: “It is important that the voices of our pupils are not only heard, but also listened to, especially as EDI is one of our primary focusses for this year, and which will be externally audited next year.”

Following the protest, the school will continue to engage students, staff, families, and the community in its efforts to provide excellent opportunities for every student, he added.

Nick Lewis, interim chief executive of Gatehouse Green Learning Trust, which runs RGS, said:  “At GGLT we pride ourselves on providing an education to prepare young people for life in modern Britain. This means that we commit to educating students to oppose discrimination, which is an anathema to British Values but rather positively work for a better, more equal society”.