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  • Writer's pictureDr Shungu Hilda M’gadzah

Racism and Adultification Bias Are Safeguarding Matters.

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Psychologists have a duty to support schools in this area.

👏🏾Keeping Children Safe in Education Means ALL CHILDREN Including Black Children. It means considering all protected characteristics. There is no hierarchy when it comes to children. No one child is more deserving than another #humanity#empathy#compassion

🤔We all like to think we are good people but disparities in education (like in other areas of society) occur and Black children often have poor outcomes as a result.

Some schools want to separate out special educational needs and safeguarding. They believe that Psychologists should only focus on special educational needs and not talk about safeguarding or about discriminatory behaviours and racism (!)

💡The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)'s EDI Standards of Proficiency places a duty on registrants to:

5.5: "recognise the characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups

5.6: actively challenge these barriers, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible"

see below for more information on these.

⚠️Racial bias and adultification bias occurs in schools we cannot pretend it doesn't #denial#ignorance#sixstagesframework#signs

⁉️How are you supporting the schools you work with to have in place policies, practices, record keeping and monitoring that complies with the legal requirements and keeps ALL children safe? #psychologists#advisors#inspectors#OFSTED

❓What conversations are you having in schools about identifying and meeting the cultural and special educational needs of Black children? #psychologist#culturalcompetencies#racismspectrum

❓Do you understand what adultification bias is and can you recognise it?


Extract from: Keeping Children Safe in Education

"Public Sector Equality Duty

91. The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is found in the Equality Act. Compliance with the PSED is a legal requirement for state-funded schools and colleges, advice on this – including on specific duties, is set out in the advice linked in paragraph 90.

92. The PSED places a general duty on schools and colleges to have, in the exercise of their functions, due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation (and any other conduct prohibited under the Equality Act), to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between those who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not.

"The duty applies to all protected characteristics (see para 87) and means that whenever significant decisions are being made or policies developed, specific consideration must be given to the equality implications of these such as, for example, the need to eliminate unlawful behaviours that relate to them, such as sexual violence and sexual harassment, misogyny/misandry and racism. This is one reason why good record-keeping and monitoring of all forms of abuse and harassment is essential." "93.The PSED helps schools and colleges(which are subject to it) to focus on key issues of concern and how to improve pupil and student outcomes. Some pupils or students may be more at risk of harm from specific issues such as sexual violence, homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying or racial discrimination. Such concerns will differ between education settings, but it is important schools and colleges are conscious of disproportionate vulnerabilities and integrate this into their safeguarding policies and procedures."

HCPC requirements and standards continued

Registrants must:

  • 5: recognise the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice and practise in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner

  • 5.1: respond appropriately to the needs of all different groups and individuals in practice, recognising this can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences

  • 5.2: understand equality legislation and apply it to their practice

  • 5.3: recognise the potential impact of their own values, beliefs and personal biases (which may be unconscious) on practice and take personal action to ensure all service users and carers are treated appropriately with respect and dignity

  • 5.4: understand the duty to make reasonable adjustments in practice and be able to make and support reasonable adjustments in theirs and others’ practice

  • 5.5: recognise the characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups

  • 5.6: actively challenge these barriers, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible

  • 5.7: recognise that regard to equality, diversity and inclusion needs to be embedded in the application of all HCPC standards, across all areas of practice

Watch introducation to my latest podcast episode: If racism was a virus....

Link to podcast

Join me on Eventbrite on 7th July and 14th Sept 19:00hrs BST

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