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Our Letter to the Prime Minister in Support of NEU’s Anti-Racism Recommendations

We’ve sent a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson in support of the National Education Union’s (NEU) five recommendations for urgent action to tackle racism.

Published: 22 July 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:31 PM
Photograph of a woman sat at a piano.
For racism to continue to thrive it relies on inaction. Photo credit: Shutterstock

In the letter, our General Secretary Horace Trubridge explains the impact of racism on the music industry, as well as on every other aspect of society. The letter describes the five actions that the NEU is calling on the Government to take and our support for them.

Our letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you on behalf of Musicians’ Union members and in support of the National Education Unions five recommendations for urgent action to tackle racism.

Recent events in the USA, the loss of Black lives due to racism and police brutality, have horrified our members. Here in the UK the covid-19 pandemic has brought existing inequalities and systemic racism into sharp focus and highlighted how the discrimination Black communities experience has life or death consequences. The Musicians’ Union stands in solidarity with Black communities and the global anti-racist movement.

Racism permeates every aspect of society including the music industry. From the demonisation and heightened surveillance of music of Black origin, to the underrepresentation of Black composers in music education syllabi. No area of life is untouched by racism. The Musicians’ Union will continue to challenge systematic racism and demand action that leads to radical change in the music industry and beyond.

The education sector is uniquely placed to dismantle racist attitudes and assumptions that support anti Blackness. The Musicians’ Union fully supports the National Education Unions five recommendations to tackle racism and calls on the Government to:

  • Provide immediate advice to employers in the education sector about the racial disparities in the pandemic in order to minimise risks to the wellbeing and safety of Black workers and the communities in which they live, work and travel.
  • Review the curriculum to ensure it embraces the fact that Britain is rooted in Black and global history, achievement and culture and includes the achievements of Black Britons; as recommended by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.
  • Commit to review Initial Teacher Training to equip all trainee teachers with anti-racist strategies and tools, for the benefit of all students.
  • Adopt a strategy to make the pipeline of new entrants to the teaching profession significantly more diverse over the next four years.
  • Learn from the Windrush Review and develop a plan to teach about the history of the UK and its relationship to the rest of the world – including Britain's colonial history and the history of migration.

For racism to continue to thrive it relies on inaction.

The Musicians’ Union urges you to implement these recommendations immediately.

Yours Sincerely,

Horace Trubridge
General Secretary

Black Members’ Network

Black members are also invited to join our Black Members’ Network for regular opportunities to get involved, have your say on what we do, contribute to consultation responses, and help make policy that reflects the truth.

Remember, racism is a Trade Union issue. If you experience or have experienced racism then please contact your Regional Office.

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