New charter to build a more inclusive future for Hackney’s children

Launch of the charter for race and SEND

Leaders in education are being invited to sign up to a new charter outlining a shared vision focused on addressing inequalities and promoting inclusion for children and young people in Hackney.

The Hackney schools charter for race and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), launched at Hackney Town Hall this week, will serve as a development tool promoting diversity, inclusion and equity in schools and settings across Hackney. 

Shaped by educators, school leaders, young people, parent groups, neighbouring local authorities and community organisations, the charter outlines a shared vision that recognises the disparities in the school system and encourages a shared approach to learning, bringing local organisations together. 

At the heart of the charter is a focus on the equality duty, which requires public authorities and schools to promote equality and eliminate discrimination. Schools are encouraged to make the charter their own by reflecting on their own practice and developing their own policies in line with six principles: individualisation, relationships, visibility, partnerships, knowledge and resourcing.

Schools and settings signing up to the charter can use it to enrich their own approach on promoting equity and inclusion, and share their experiences to encourage collective learning. Schools will work together, learn from each other and share promising practice and strategies, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and learning.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor, Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care

Hackney schools have been on a transformational journey, where 97% of them are now good or outstanding: we acknowledge their hard work and commitment. However, we are acutely aware of the disproportionate outcomes for some children and young people that we see in our data. 

The charter recognises the inequalities that continue to negatively impact children and young people with SEND, Black Caribbean children and other groups within the Black and global majority community. Ensuring their voices are heard is essential for creating an inclusive education system across our Hackney schools and settings. 

We acknowledge our schools and settings have made significant progress in becoming more inclusive and diverse, but we know there is still more to be done so that every child feels included and celebrated. 

We hope the charter for race and SEND will provide the needed support for our educational partners so that inequalities and exclusions are eliminated, and diversity is truly embraced and celebrated. We will continue to listen to our children and young people and communities to make sure our vision continues to adapt and to reflect the complexity of their needs.” 

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor, Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care
Caroline Woodley, Mayor of Hackney

In Hackney, we have long sought to tackle inequality and to support marginalised and under-represented communities. This must continue to be our priority, as the current pressures on our Council, borough and education system means that inequalities continue to negatively impact the lives and wellbeing of our residents and communities. 

As Mayor I am dedicated to championing the rights of children and young people with special educational needs, and to work with the Council to embed our anti-racist principles. It is important to recognise that inequity is intersectional and that this charter addresses the various forms of discrimination and racism that many groups, including Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities as well as the Gypsy Roma communities may face. 

The charter will add value and support our educators in their journey towards a fairer Hackney for all our children and young people, building a shared culture of diversity and inclusion.

Caroline Woodley, Mayor of Hackney

Find out more about the charter here.