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Statement on Discrimination 2020

As communities around the world grapple with the complexities of an emerging new order, we have, in recent weeks, been reminded of the stark reality of an older order, one in which prejudice and injustice exist. Our world was turned upside down by the outbreak of Covid 19, and many of our realities have been challenged; none more so than by recent events in the United States and the death of George Floyd.

The beauty of challenge is that it promotes introspection, and hopefully positive change. This is certainly the case at Peterhouse. As a Group of Schools we recognise the significance of this time, and of the many injustices that are playing out in communities and society. We are, as a diocesan school, reminded of our Christian heritage and ethos, a heritage that equips and prepares us for a broken and uncertain world. There are however, certainties that we can depend upon. At the beginning of the year we embraced and reminded ourselves of our Christian ethos: that “people matter.” It is a theme that the staff and pupils embraced and promoted. We were, at the time, unaware that this would become a worldwide rallying call.

At the heart of our school ethos, four important themes have emerged:

• An Anglican School has absolutely no place for racism or any other form of discrimination. We have promoted, and continue to promote, the belief that all people are created in God’s image and have infinite value. While we know that words on walls do not change people’s hearts, and that there will always be degrees of friction, we nevertheless tirelessly promote the ideal. This belief means that we embrace diversity with unity.
• It remains the belief of the school that positive change begins with the individual. We unashamedly promote the notion that our pupils should look at their own hearts before trying to change the world. Discrimination hurts the individual, and so we teach compassion and empathy. Discrimination cannot find a home where loving our neighbour prevails.
• While we acknowledge that all people are imperfect, we sincerely believe that God is able to heal and restore. Our power might be limited, but His has no limits.
• At Peterhouse we will not deviate from focusing our attention on ensuring that we provide an environment where every member of our community feels safe, valued, and free from discrimination.

As a Group of Schools we are very conscious that prejudice and discrimination continue to exist within communities, and that it is in our collective interest, as a school community, to confront and tackle these issues. Our schools, since their foundation in 1955, have embraced a rigorous transformational agenda. This remains a cornerstone of our educational journey.
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