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Photo. A girl is taking a book from a bookshelf in a library. She is wearing a pink hooded top and wearing a rucksack.

News: New funding for Scottish school libraries

Posted 11 Jan, 2023 by Jennifer Drummond

School libraries across Scotland have been awarded funding from the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) for projects focusing on anti-racism, diversity and racial equality.

The Fund, administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) was launched by the Scottish Government in 2017.

Available to all state run Scottish nursery, primary and secondary schools the fund supports creative and innovative projects within the school library sector.

In 2022-23 funding totalling £200,000 is being awarded to 18 initiatives in 10 local authorities.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council, said:

“School libraries play a valuable role in education and learning and ensuring every young person has the chance to fulfil their full potential. Projects funded through prigrammes like SLIF help to improve and expand the services school libraries can provide, so it’s great to see such strong applications coming in from schools eager to develop these resources.

“We are particularly proud to award support to those advocating for anti-racism and anti-discrimination through this year’s Fund and we can’t wait to see these initiatives come to fruition.”

Commenting on the awards this year, Education Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville also praised the focus on anti-racism and the role of school libraries in engaging with young people on the importance of belonging, inclusion and social justice.

Click here for a full list of all the schools and projects awarded funding

Image by Anna Cervinkova
Image by Anna Cervinkova

News: New project aims to tackle racism in schools

Posted 25 February, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond

A new project will support young people to lead a campaign of change, embedding race equality and anti-racism within the Scottish education system.

The Captains project, from leading anti-racism education charity Show Racism the Red Card, will give pupils the chance to shape the curriculum for a modern and diverse Scotland.

The year-long project, which has been awarded funding from the Scottish Government’s Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education project (REAREP), will see Captains ensure the voices and experiences of Scotland’s ethnic minority young people are heard by decision-makers.

For the duration of the project, they will also be given the chance to review documents before they become policy.

Captains will come from both primary and secondary schools. Representation from school leavers and those in higher and further education will also help to highlight widespread issues with racism at all levels of learning.

Jordan Allison, Show Racism the Red Card Campaign Manager for Scotland said:

“Captain’s is an exciting one-of-a-kind opportunity for our young people to lead change from within the education system.

"Sadly, Show Racism the Red Card has heard from hundreds of pupils, parents and teachers in Scotland on their traumatic experiences of racism in our schools. The lived experience of our young people can and will play a crucial role in ensuring our schools are a safe place for all.”

Racism in schools

The project comes after statistics published from the charity revealed a significant number of school staff were aware of an issue within their school setting.

A recent survey from Show Racism the Red Card Scotland found that 65 percent of school staff said they were aware of pupils expressing misconceptions, stereotypes or negative attitudes relating to racism.

Of the 743 members surveyed, just over 25% said they had received training on how to integrate anti-racism in their school.

Taking action

More than 50 Captains have been appointed, with some already enacting change.

Amina Khan, a senior pupil at Eastwood High School in Glasgow, along with fellow Captain Aliya Abbas, is passionate about tackling subtle racism in the curriculum and misconceptions around Islam in schools and wider society.

She has already requested a number of changes to textbooks which she has highlighted as offensive.

Amina said: “From my experience, some of the materials have been straight-up racist and that’s really unacceptable. So [I’m] introducing a system that filters out any racist language and undertones and alienation that the Muslim students feel after reading that in the curriculum.”

The Scottish Government has awarded Show Racism the Red Card £43,000 to support the Captains project as part of the children and young people input into its Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education project (REAREP) work.

Click here to find out more on the Show Racism the Red Card website, or email

From protest to policymaking: join my campaign for reform and ensure Afro-Scottish history is taught in our schools

10 July 2020

Changing the curriculum would be a vital step in anti-racist action, giving children in Scotland a proper understanding of colonialism, slavery and the hidden figures of black history, writes Eunice Olumide

My name is Eunice Olumide. I am an art curator and gallery owner, author, and international model.

When I was at school myself and fellow Scots learned nothing about the history and the role that Britain played in colonising Africa. Nor the way the West benefited financially, culturally, and socially from colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade.

We were also not taught anything about the many prominent Afro-Scottish, Caribbean, and Black British figures who have contributed significantly to the entire UK.

I decided to create a petition to put Afro-Scottish history on the curriculum, as part of my ‘Positive Action: Five Ways to Change the World’ in lockdown campaign.

The goal for me is to make real permanent change, getting a commitment and pledge from policymakers for proactive anti-racist action, creating meaningful steps through the implementation of a thorough and robust account of Afro-Scottish, Black British and African Diasporic history through the national education system.

This would negotiate, rectify, and recognise those real-life events and contributions that continue to shape and support our society today. It is essential to take action that goes beyond our initial protests worldwide.

I am calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to reform our education system to include all Afro-Scottish history including artefacts of African diaspora, cultural and economic contributions, the role of the British Empire and the benefits to Scotland from colonies of the Caribbean and Africa.

I would also like the curriculum to focus on pre-colonial African Scottish history. This could include the role of the Moors from the fourth century, at a time when racism did not exist, right through to those historic figures during and post-colonialism such as John Edmonstone (1793-1822), one of the most important figures in scientific research, an expert in taxidermy and teacher at Edinburgh University where he trained Charles Darwin, arguably one of the most profound figures in secular British ideology.

Or black British royalty Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a Yoruba Egbado Princess from Nigeria sold into slavery becoming the much beloved Goddaughter of Queen Victoria.

It is important for us all to learn about hugely important historic figures. People such as Philippa of Hainault, the first Black Queen of England right through to an incredible hidden figure like Katherine Johnson, the African-American female mathematician at the heart of NASA’s space program that put the first man on the moon.

The petition was only approved a few days ago and we have already had more than 1000 signatures as well as support from celebrities including Frankie Boyle.

We have until the fifth of August and then it will close. It is such a fantastic way for anyone who genuinely wants to create change to make a real difference that makes our country a better place for everyone regardless of your race, religion, or class.

The other four pillars in my campaign include:

  • Establishing a charity fund to support BME Businesses, the ADBSF (click here to visit)
  • Creating the first Scottish BME Heritage Museum (click here to visit),
  • Ensuring a monument is built alongside charity One Voice for Freedom, to honour the contribution of diaspora in central London (we have already raised 500k, supported by heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and fashion designer Ozwald Boateng), and
  • Producing the first ever film based on true life stories of systemic racism in Scotland.

We can all make a difference, no matter how large or small. So get involved and click here to sign the petition today!

Further information about Eunice and her work:

Contact Eunice and find out more:

About the author

Eunice Olumide is an art curator and gallery owner, writer and model

Click to find out more

Scottish Parliament petition

Read and share the petition to reform the national curriculum

Click to find out more

ADB Support Fund

A charity giving Afro-Caribbean communities tools to achieve economic stability

Click to find out more

Empire Museum

Read about the work underway to create the first Scottish BME Heritage museum

Click to find out more

Olumide Gallery

Eunice Olumide's gallery in London champions unique artistic talent

Click to find out more