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Commissioner’s response to Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan

Commenting on the Welsh Government’s Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan, the Children’s Commissioner Rocio Cifuentes said:

“I’m pleased to see Welsh Government’s commitments within this action plan and very much look forward to ensuring children and young people’s experiences drive this work over the next few months and years.

“We definitely need to have a clear and up-to-date understanding of children and young people’s experiences of racist abuse and racist bullying in school. We need to know how those incidents are dealt with from the perspective of a young person and their family, and we need to know what teachers’ views and experiences are of dealing with those incidents. And most importantly young people need to have full confidence in the measures that are there to keep them safe and happy in school.

“I wrote to the Government in my first month in post to find out how they are planning to put young people’s views and experiences at the heart of new guidance for schools. It’s vital that the new guidance and any associated training or advice fully meets young people’s needs, and fully equips schools to deal with cases effectively. The Government can’t do this without first comprehensively listening to children and families’ everyday experiences, and the views of staff across our education sector.

“I’ve been exploring what my role will be in this. This has been an important issue to me for many years. I’m discussing with the Government how I can help to put children’s experiences at the heart of this work to make sure it is as strong as it needs to be. I’m intending to undertake my own independent work in this area in the coming months, to ensure children’s experiences are influential in developing new resources for schools to tackle this important issue.”