Race Equality Audit Publication
Apology from the Board of ALRA:
In July 2020, the Board and Senior Management of ALRA commissioned an external audit to investigate systemic racism within the organisation and to identify actions needed in order to make the school a safe and robust place where there is equity in all areas.
The report is published in full today and can be found on the ALRA website here.
We apologise unreservedly for the trauma and pain caused to our Alumni and current students.
Following are the recommendations from the panel and an update of work done since February 2021. The Board and Senior Leadership of ALRA want to take this opportunity to thank the External Race Equality Audit Team for their work and the students, graduates and staff of ALRA who contributed to the research and contents. This will shape the way the organisation moves forward. There is still much work to do but we remain determined to address the issues raised and fervently champion and embed anti-racist practice at ALRA.
The Race Audit has clearly, consistently and rigorously identified the reality of the experience of members of the Global Majority with us and the failures of our actions historically and to date. There is no excuse for this. We will not use this as an opportunity to talk about our progress the report is a moment of laying bare failings and committing to public accountability for the future of our students and staff.
Our intention was to lay bare the extent of our failings in order to start again, to work towards a space that is actively Anti-Racist. The Panel have served our graduates, students, staff and board to offer an insight to the pain and toxicity that was in place.
The report captures the reality of those with lived experience of racism and unapologetically outlines the cause: white privilege.
As an educational establishment we are now seeking to live with renewed values and are committed to transform our training. But at this moment, in recognition of the damage that has been done, we must pause and say that we are sorry. This apology isn’t going to take away the experiences of those that suffered and for that we are truly sorry.
We have asked the Graduate Advisory Board, Unique Spencer and Sonia Watson-Fowler to work with us as the Implementation Team making sure we achieve the recommendations of the panel within the next 12 months.
The Board of ALRA – April 2021
Race Equality Report Recommendations
Diversity & Outreach
a. ALRA should consider creating bursaries for Global Majority students.
b. The configuration of the Outreach Officer role and Outreach activities needs more focused.
c. The Outreach strategy should be reformed to target schools in areas with different socio-economic groups.
d. ALRA needs to urgently hire more Global Majority staff on a long term and secure basis, in order to remove the disproportionality racial heterogeneity between the staff and student bodies. ALRA must move away from tokenistic hiring of staff and move towards a diverse and equitable staff body.
e. Positive action provisions in the Equality Act 2010 can be used to inform hiring staff from the Global Majority.
f. An on-going and collaborative dialogue must be established between staff and students to ensure that anti-racism is embedded at both the interpersonal and institutional level.
g. ALRA management and trustees need to improve support of its few members of Global Majority staff and recognise that they may be targeted by other members of staff with race related issues.
Spaces for teaching and learning
h. ALRA must be more transparent and communicate clearly the work it is doing to dismantle racism in the school.
i. Staff must be supported to initiate and lead discussions concerning race in texts.
j. All staff should be given regular training on appropriate language and allyship in the classroom.
k. Racial trigger warnings should be introduced to facilitate “safe space” when dealing with difficult texts that may be triggering.
l. A “Zero tolerance of racism at ALRA” policy to be instituted as well as a specific race equality mission statement or policy. ALRA must display these procedures online and on campus.
m. A clear, effective and transparent “complaints and consequence procedure” to be created.
n. A regular forum on anti-racist practice and anti-racist theatre practice to be created.
o. Staff to be supported or mentored by members of the Global Majority theatre industry.
p. Measures must be introduced to make the Library a safe space.
q. ALRA should seek to achieve a greater representation of Global Majority individuals on the board of trustees.
r. An equality and diversity officer must be appointed.
s. Clear and updated information on options for complainants must be provided.
t. The complaints policy must be annually reviewed and amended where necessary
u. ALRA must create clear policies on penalties/disciplinary action for breach of complaints procedures. Staff must be trained on the procedures.
v. ALRA must institute use of a review template to log and document all complaints.
w. ALRA must create greater resources and better support for those dealing with complaints.
Student and staff training
x. Diversity and Inclusion training on classroom practice to be mandatory for all staff, including freelancers using the suggestions in the existing strategic plan.
y. ALRA to commit to hiring a permanent D&I specialist to be based within the school.
z. All staff to be given ongoing training in EDI and anti-racist practices once a term with a view to refresh, review and reframe perspectives on equity.
aa. Online resources and learning modules on anti-racist practices need to be created for staff and students.
bb. Training to include discussion and learning experiences with leading Global Majority practitioners in all aspects of theatrical work.
cc. Regular empirical surveys of staff and students should be conducted to monitor progression, receive feedback and promote transparency.
The Race Equality Report
Please click the button below to read the full Race Equality Audit Report titled ‘ALRA Race Equality – Audit 2020-21’.
This Report was commissioned by ALRA and undertaken by a panel made up of external experts in 2020. We underline that the content of this report is unconnected to recent redundancies at ALRA that were undertaken as part of measures to manage the financial impact of Covid 19.
You can read the full report by clicking the button below: