Racial justice thinktank joins inclusive schools' coalition

By staff writers
February 12, 2011

The inclusive schools Accord Coalition has welcomed the UK’s leading racial justice thinktank, The Runnymede Trust, as its latest corporate member.

The Runnymede Trust, founded in 1968, seeks to promote ethnic and racial diversity and to challenge discrimination.

Trust director Dr Robert Berkeley announced his organisation’s membership of Accord at a conference organised by Runnymede and others at the University of East London recently.

The gathering brough academics, policy makers and other together to consider issues of racial, ethnic and religious identity in state policies and civil society.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, chair of Accord, welcomed The Runnymede Trust’s decision to join the coalition.

He declared: "I am delighted that the Trust has decided to join is. Our schools should promote mutual understanding and respect between pupils of different backgrounds, not become religious, ethnic or racial ghettos, where pupils can grow up removed from those from different backgrounds."

Dr Romain continued: "The Runnymede Trust seeks to promote ethnic and racial harmony. Their support not only broadens Accord’s wide range of members yet further, but also highlights their concern at how our current school system can serve to undermine social cohesion and allow mistrust and intolerance between groups to more readily grow."

The Trust has already produced an influential, independent report on faith schools, which highlighted good practice but also explained the needs for significant reforms along the lines that Accord has been promoting since it came into existence in 2008 - seeking to bring together both religious and non-religious individuals and organisations into a body making the case for change, in an arena dominated by a 'pro' and 'anti' standoff.

Other Accord members include the three founders, the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the British Humanist Association, along with the Hindu Academy, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, the Campaign for State Education, the Socialist Education Association and Women Against Fundamentalism.

More on the Accord Coalition here: http://accordcoalition.org.uk/

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