[2020] Motion 24 De-colonising and organising

Composited motion

Received from:

Merged into composite 07

Congress commends campaigns including Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford for confronting the many ways in which the UK’s colonial legacy continues to influence education today.

At all levels, the UK’s education system has been built on historical structures that privilege the views and experiences of those in power. These perspectives have informed the ways in which institutions and research are funded, as well as the way in which curricula are developed and taught.

Their influence is also evident in the deeply unequal recruitment and progression outcomes for different groups of students and education staff. In higher education, for example, just 25 Black women were recorded as working as professors in 2018 compared to 14,000 white men.

De-colonising education is a critical step towards tackling the systemic racism and structural inequality in our society. It is crucial that this work also extends to our own trade union education programmes and organising approaches.

Congress supports educators across all sectors in promoting and developing diverse and inclusive curricula; in challenging their institutions to address structural barriers to equality; and in working with other groups campaigning for a fairer and more representative education system.

University and College Union


  • At the end of paragraph 3 add:
    “In schools, only 14 per cent of teachers and 7 per cent of headteachers are Black. The rate of under-representation remains entrenched.”
  • Insert new penultimate paragraph:
    “Congress demands determined action by government and employers on the recruitment and progression of Black workers by tackling discrimination and deepening understanding of the causes of historical and contemporary racism.”

National Education Union