English UK announces ELT anti-racism action group

One of the first tasks the group will undertake is drafting an amendment to enshrine its collective commitment to anti-racism in the English UK rules.

“We are listening and learning how we can do better”

“Racism is unacceptable,” the organisation said. “As international educators working in the UK ELT sector, we strive to bring communities together. We are listening and learning how we can do better.”

“We’re not particularly diverse, that is evident when you attend any conferences or events,” interim chief executive at English UK, Jodie Gray said.

“I think there are occasional but too often overt instances of racism that make people feel uncomfortable, but they don’t know how to react.”

Examples may include requests school receive for certain types of host families or teachers, she continued.

“Sometimes those requests or our response to them are brushed under the carpet as part of working with different cultures… [that] they are just part of working in an international environment.”

Additionally, the way the sector tends to promote and market itself – relying on images relating to tradition and history, such as castles, Big Ben, world-renowned universities rather than on diversity and multiculturalism – is another area the group will explore.

“I think it’s important that we acknowledge where we can improve,” Gray added.

For professionals in the sector interested in being involved, contact English UK.

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