An Open Letter To Our OHS Community

10 June 2020

Recent events, which have opened up discussions on racism and the Black Lives Matter movement globally, are of great importance for all of us in the OHS community, including alumnae, current pupils, staff, parents, governors and more. We stand together in solidarity to support all ethnicities.

At Oxford High School, and more widely within the GDST, our school communities are based on an ethos of mutual respect and consideration. We are committed to providing a safe and happy learning environment for all. At OHS, we are proud of our open-minded and accepting school community.

We work tirelessly to ensure that our curriculum is relevant and meaningful to every individual within it. We wholeheartedly acknowledge, however, that there are ways we could improve in this regard and, in future, we will work to make the education we offer even more inclusive. We will continue to work to equip students to actively fight racism and inequality wherever they see it, both during their time at OHS and beyond.

We do not tolerate racial harassment, victimisation or discrimination of any kind, and work hard to prevent these and confront them if they occur. Speaking out about racism is key to tackling it and we welcome conversations with our alumnae and with the young people in our schools, about this issue.

We acknowledge the prominence of the current conversations on racial equality, taking place across multiple platforms all around the world. We are committed to taking this seriously, by being active listeners and playing our part in contributing to and learning from the campaign. We will do this by playing our part in a GDST-led review that will soon be taking place, which will result in a GDST Charter of Action. We will seek to do this by engaging with students and staff, including members of the senior leadership team, to reflect on our curricular, co-curricular and pastoral programmes, and put together our own plan for combating racism and educating all to be anti-racist.

We make a promise to update you, our esteemed community of friends, family and acquaintances, on such school initiatives. To ensure all voices are heard and improvements are made consistently, we will hold regular school reviews and provide a channel for gathering and sharing ongoing feedback.

Every single member of the OHS community is valued equally and we are dedicated to ensuring everyone feels seen, heard and listened to. We will do this by eliciting open discussions, sharing resources and supporting advocacy for change.

We understand and recognise that we have room to grow and we endeavour to work hard to continue to educate and empower all of our students, at all times. We are unequivocal – racism cannot be tolerated. Oxford High and all GDST schools strive to be inclusive environments in which the wellbeing of every young person comes first, and where every girl, no matter her background, can learn without limits.

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