Accord’s first birthday marked by launch of new award.
Accord is now one year old and to mark the occasion we are launching a competition to find the school doing most to bring together people of different backgrounds and beliefs. The prize will be open to all state schools and will be judged by a panel of experts from diverse political and religious backgrounds.
The aim is to recognise schools that develop an ethos based on shared values across all that they do, including admissions policies, assemblies and links with the local community.
For the awards to be a success, we need your help. If you are a parent, governor or teacher at a school with inclusion at its heart, then please nominate it for an award today.
Alternatively, you can forward details of the award to someone else better able to fill in the application form.
In the words of Accord Chair Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain:
“So many people just sit back complain about the state of our schools that Accord has decided to do the reverse – actively seek out and reward those that are inclusive, tolerant and transparent.
Not all of Britain is “broken” – there are also many examples of remarkable success and cohesion – so it’s time to praise those schools that work hard to build bridges between the different faith and ethnic communities.”
Polly Toynbee, the journalist and social commentator, is one of the judges of the awards and said:
“We need to celebrate schools that find ways to bring people together by promoting thought and ideas, encouraging debate across cultural barriers, opening minds and exploring beliefs with tolerance and imagination."
From the opposite political spectrum, the Award has also been welcomed by former Conservative Secretary for Education, Lord Baker, who has agreed to serve as one of the judges. He said:
“One of the ways in which harmony, understanding and tolerance will be promoted in many of our towns and cities is if children of all races and creeds learnt alongside each other, had lunch together and played together at school. The Accord Awards will help to highlight the best examples of such inclusivity, tolerance and transparency and I am glad to have been asked to be one of the judges.”
|Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982)|
|U.S. science-fiction writer|
|I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon, 1986, "How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later"|
The former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, he was appointed chair of the £70m a year super-quango when it was launched two years ago to bring together equality bodies for gender, race and disability discrimination, as well as sexuality, age, religion and human rights.
Critics said it was impossible to reconcile so many uncompromising interest groups, with the equality minister Harriet Harman recently admitting everything had been put "into one melting pot".
Today Phillips, who describes himself as an "old school equality warrior", writes: "Much ink has been spilt on our internal organisation. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/04/equality-watchdog-problems-trevor-phillips