More than one hundred former students of James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS) have signed a letter detailing allegations of racism and discrimination at the Dulwich private school.
The school’s head teacher, Sally-Anne Huang, has also received a petition calling for its curriculum to be ‘decolonised’.
It is is one of several top educational establishments across the country to be interrogated over a perceived failure to tackle discrimination after a campaign started by twenty-one-year-old Tiwa Adebayo, an ex-pupil of Haberdashers’ Aske’s in Hertfordshire.
She took action after she and a group of BAME friends who attended private schools began sharing their own experiences.
Soon around 300 black students had signed her letter to the Independent Schools Council detailing alleged racist incidents, and of failures to appropriately punish those responsible and safeguard students from future abuse.
The letter to JAGS references several alleged incidents including claims a pupil described black and white people as ‘more different to each other than different dog breeds’.
In a statement posted on the school’s website, Ms Huang responded: “We have all been moved by the shocking death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests across the world.
“At JAGS we are committed to inclusivity and diversity across our community and have a responsibility to all our BAME students to ensure they are heard and valued.
“Over the past few years, we have begun to address the curriculum to ensure that it covers race and race issues, and we acknowledge that we must continue to develop and reflect upon these.
“We understand also that these measures are a starting point and should not solely be reflected in the curriculum but across all aspects of our school community and life.
“We are working closely with our pupil body to address this, including integrating our equality policy with a new diversity policy.
“Over the past week, we have engaged with pupils, families and alumnae asking them for their feedback and welcome this opportunity to engage and implement positive change.
“All allegations of racism are taken extremely seriously and JAGS welcomes any further information regarding any incidents so that we can investigate fully.
“We are committed to ensuring that JAGS is positively antiracist.”