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School response to racism

7 June 2020

“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something.”

When Westminster City School Old Boy, John Boyega, spoke these powerful words at an anti-racism rally last week, following the shocking events in the USA and subsequent worldwide protests, it led to much reflection and thought at our School.

Wisdom, integrity, compassion and excellence are Westminster City School’s values and we stand in solidarity with the values and ethos of the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups who seek to fight racism. We acknowledge, as a learning community, that racism takes many forms and results from the conscious and unconscious thoughts and actions of individuals and institutions. We condemn the killing by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This terrible act follows many other racist killings, in the USA, around the world, and here in the UK. We know the names of many that have died, yet there are the names of many others that we do not know.

With 14 out of 17 different ethnic groups represented amongst our Westminster City School community, plus links to over 100 countries, we are proud of the diversity within our community. We celebrate and embrace this diversity, whilst recognising that recent events will have had a profound impact. Many within our multi-racial community will be experiencing grief and anger at the persistent presence and impact of racism in our society. We offer support to all and ask that you reach out to us through your Head of Year.

While adding fresh impetus to the anti-racism campaign, the events of last week should also encourage constant vigilance amongst us all. At Westminster City School, we will continue to hold ourselves, our teaching and our learning to account. We will continue to raise the voices of all within our diverse community, we will continue to stand with them hand in hand, and we will continue to be an ally. This support extends to our newest and youngest pupils, and includes our inspirational alumni, like John Boyega and Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North.

Racism and violence has no part in the life of Westminster City School, and no place in society today.

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