Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Black Lives Matter - OA Arena Response

Black Lives Matter - OA Arena Response
Hannah Skinner

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to echo the words of our Founder Steve Chalke, who has spoken about the shock, sadness, and anger caused by the tragic death of George Floyd in America. Sadly this was not an isolated incident and was further tragic evidence of entrenched, systemic racism. We must all recognise that these issues are not unique to the United States.

Deep-rooted racism also exists in Britain and the issue of injustice and inequality permeates our society and culture. Far too often Black and Minority Ethnic people face discrimination in education, in employment and in the application of the law. Oasis Academy Arena is a family and we are fortunate to have such a culturally rich and varied group of students and parents who are a part of this family.

I want to make a commitment to you personally that on behalf of the entire Oasis Arena staff body, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and are looking at what actions we can take immediately and over time to support it.

This includes actively engaging staff and students in conversations about racism, racial bias as well as working to support all individuals to educate themselves.  We will be reviewing the work that we do, including reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it accurately reflects British society, art, culture and history.

Please talk openly with your children about the importance of tackling racism and indeed being anti-racist. Below this letter is a video that I invite you to watch. There is also a link here to an article you could share with your children https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-52877803

Our aim is to educate children so that they are able to recognise discrimination, have their voices heard and as they grow older will be part of a better, fairer and equal society. 

I appreciate that this is a period of uncertainty as many of us are still home-based for the overwhelming majority of the time, please re-assured that we will also be talking to students about these issues when we return to school.

Inclusion sits at the very heart of the Oasis movement, there is no more important issue for us to engage in, as we work even harder to ensure that all people are valued, accepted on the basis of equality and treated with dignity.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Raymond