The Stephen Lawrence Education Standard is unique to Leeds. It was developed in partnership between Education Leeds, the Leeds City Council and Black and Minority community representatives, in response to the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and the publication of the MacPherson Inquiry Report into Stephen’s death in 1999. The Standard was launched in 2003, the first of its kind in the country.
At Moortown Primary School, we have had the award for some time now. We now want to update it. We know Moortown Primary School is a happy and healthy place to learn. Children tell us, parents and carers tell us, and awards such as this one, the Healthy Schools status and the Inclusion Chartermark prove it.
We want everyone in our community to be treated fairly. We want to recognise everybody’s similarities and their differences – and celebrate their differences. We make sure this happens by our Visual Ethos Statement that underlies everything we do. Our ethos is talked about – children know what the symbols mean, including the globe which shows that we are a multi-cultural school with pupils and staff from many different countries, the four children holding hands that show that we all work together and the religious symbols you can see represent children who have different faiths (or no faith at all).
The children linking arms is echoed in our school logo: children are represented as happy, healthy and co-operative. When our school council chose this logo in 2008, the different colours in the logo was suggested by a councillor as being symbolic of the different ethnicities in school. This went further than the original design remit and represents the confidence and positive awareness we try to nurture amongst all our stakeholders.
Practical means to promote awareness, cohesion and equality range from SEAL, a fundamental, on-going theme in our school, to themed weeks, such as the forthcoming ‘My Community’ week (the second themed week to celebrate and learn about belonging, identity and differences such as race). Our growing links with Shallcross Primary in South Africa will further enhance children’s and adults’ understanding and empathy.
The Stephen Lawrence Standard means a lot to us. We know we’re doing things right and we want to be recognised for this as well as learn more about what we can do in the future to be even better.