Posted on 24 June 2020

Message from Derek Whitehead, Principal & CEO of Leeds College of Building

As we know education has the power to strengthen communities, enrich lives and transform the world and, at Leeds College of Building, we take our role as educators and employers incredibly seriously. In light of recent news, therefore, I wanted to update you on what action the College, as an educator and employer, is taking in light of the Black Lives Matter campaign. 

We are united in our courage and determination to stand up to racism and oppression in education, employment and other areas of life. We will ensure that we explore with staff, students, employers and the wider community; the further actions we should take as an employer and educator, to tackle racism and extreme racist views. We want to make the workplace more supportive and inclusive for everyone. We will also continue to develop the work we are already doing to further embed and promote the British Values of democracy and the rule of law into College life.

We also want to play an active role in helping to shape the future of the Construction Sector which offers many fantastic opportunities for our students. The evidence is clear and shows that Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are underrepresented in the Industry. We are passionate about working with employers to help create an Industry that continues to develop and support opportunities for black students to gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in life.

The Black Lives Matter campaign has shown how important the education system is to drive real change. We recognise that staff and students have a democratic right to support the Black Lives Matters campaign. In exercising their rights, we advise everyone to do this peacefully, safely and within the rule of law.

Leeds City Council are issuing a statement shortly that the College, together with other educational institutions and businesses, are happy to support. 

Further information will be shared in the coming months on the steps the College is taking.