Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic and BLM movement

From its very inception in 1947, LATE has been a forum for dialogue, a space where teachers can collaboratively share and develop their practice, formulating as well as responding to education policy. It is an organisation that acknowledges the act of teaching as a political one. LATE has always been committed to inclusive and antiracist practice, pedagogy and curriculum. We stand with all those that have been marginalised and othered through the policies of neoliberalism and austerity; we stand with Black and working-class people and with all whose identities have been effaced; we stand with every teacher and student who has been excluded or silenced by the imposition of educational policies and practices that seek to enforce conformity to a mythical monocultural norm. This is important, perhaps more than ever, as we respond to the current context of the pandemic and the forces that are at play within the lockdown. There are huge opportunities that have emerged as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement: there is more concerted effort to decolonise the curriculum, for example. There are, however, very real threats that are still posed to English teachers: threats to our ability to organise and intervene, but also that the pandemic is being used to consolidate and promote versions of English that are straightforwardly inimical to any inclusive, dialogic, antiracist practice. LATE continues to be an organisation that seeks to empower teachers through research of their own practice and that values student voices and identity above all else. We will continue to work alongside other campaigning organisations to bring into existence a more equitable and socially just education system, as an integral part of a better, fairer society.

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