Black Lives Matter
A message from the Headmaster - Black Lives Matter
I have not made a public response to the tragic death of George Floyd, although the City of London has done so here. It is fitting that all institutions – including our School – takes the opportunity to evaluate their commitment to tolerance and respect at this time.
I met with my leadership team at the first opportunity after this tragic event and asked all of them to consider Black Lives Matter and that this would be the main point of discussion at our next meeting; I have had purposeful conversations with some senior pupils about the best way to further engage and educate pupils in the School; I have attended a meeting with the BAME network of the City of London Corporation and am engaged with the Association of School and College Leaders as a member of the Ethics, Equalities and Inclusions Committee.
I have been in contact with some current and some former pupils about their experiences and some of those conversations have presented challenges. I cannot judge the school historically, but I can say with confidence that in the last five years, Freemen’s has become an increasingly diverse, respectful and warm community, and that student voice is listened to in a range of contexts. Almost without exception, I am proud of the way that pupils in this School behave and communicate with each other and with adults, and am glad that they develop a mature social conscience while at the School. We will never as a community get everything right but we will deal with concerns and problems as they arise; that is the purpose of education. However, this is ongoing work and will not leave the agenda. I can also say with confidence that Freemen's has become more diverse over the last five years with some of our Livery connections, parents and former pupils generously sponsoring bursary provision that has often been provided to children from BAME backgrounds, giving them life changing opportunities.
We want to celebrate diversity in this community and children and adults – of whatever colour, gender, religion or sexuality – should be respected; this will continue to be a high priority for the School. We will continue to be true to our stated aim in ‘establishing an environment at Freemen’s where everyone involved in the community is respected, trusted and supported’ and utilise as many educational opportunities as we can to build a tolerant society at the School.
Please be in no doubt that Freemen’s agrees that “Black Lives Matter”.
Roland Martin - Headmaster, City of London Freemen's School.