Last Updated: Monday, June 20, 2022

Promoting race equality and anti-racist education

What is this?

An overview of race equality and anti-racist education that covers what it is, why it is important and links to additional resources.

Who is this for?

All practitioners (ELC, primary and secondary schools).

All learners have a right to learn in an equitable environment where all cultures, identities and languages are recognised and valued and where the curriculum responds to the diverse needs of individual learners, reflecting the uniqueness of their communities.

This overview of race equality and anti-racist education will explore what is meant by race equality and anti-racist education, why they are important for all our learners and how they might be embedded in education settings.

Why are race equality and anti-racist education important?

  • Learners are empowered to develop an understanding of their own values, beliefs and cultures and those of others.
  • Anti-racist education helps children to understand and realise their own rights and the rights of others within the school, within the community and globally.
  • Anti-racist education helps learners to understand the harmful consequences of racism and encourages them to actively challenge it wherever it occurs.
  • It helps to ensure that the learning environment is an inclusive one, without racial inequality or racism.
  • It nurtures a historical literacy in learners which helps them to understand all of Scotland’s history, including our historical role in empire, colonialism and transatlantic slavery, and the diversity of Scottish society in the past. It helps learners understand how Scotland’s colonial past plays a role in their current everyday lives, acknowledging the successes and impact of Minority Ethnic historical figures, in relation to Scottish and global history.
  • Race equality education provides a vehicle for all educators to demonstrate their professional values.

The above means that race equality and anti-racism considerations in education are the responsibility of all and essential in all establishments across Scotland, regardless of geographical location.

An overview of race equality and anti-racist education

PDF file: Promoting and developing race equality and anti-racist education: an overview (895 KB)

PDF file: Promoting race equality and anti-racist education: an overview (Gaelic version)(1.3 MB)

This material is now available on a website with accompanying curriculum ideas and resources. Case studies will be added over time.

Further resources for practitioners are available here in a collection of wakelets and are also referenced throughout the overview document.

Improvement questions

  • To what extent do all staff have the opportunity to explore and discuss racial equality and bias with colleagues?
  • To what extent is diversity ‘normalised’ and embedded in the curriculum?
  • To what extent do the resources in your setting normalise diversity and portray members of all ethnic and cultural groups in positive and non-stereotypical ways?
  • Do all learners see their culture, ethnicity, faith and experience reflected in the curriculum?
  • How do we ensure that the voices of all children and young people are heard and used to shape race equality education?