Rural schools face same multi-cultural challenge

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Governors at Middle Rasen Primary School say they accept the findings of a government inspector’s report which says it must do more to become multicultural.

But they praised the staff and headteacher at the school for achieving the ‘good’ rating from Ofsted, adding it is a challenge for rural schools to experience other cultures when their pupils are overwhelmingly white British.

“The governors of Middle Rasen Primary fully support and congratulate the Headteacher, staff, pupils and parents for their success in achieving a well-deserved ‘ good’ rating at the recent Ofsted inspection,” said a statement issued yesterday.

“The Governing Body do not have any reservations concerning the fairness or conduct of the inspection, and accept all the recommendations made for improvement unequivocally,” they told the Rasen Mail. “With regard to the recent press coverage concerning references to pupil’s cultural development, the Governors are certain that many similar rural schools must face these same challenges, but accept that, while great efforts have already been made to ensure that pupils gain the widest possible experiences of cultural diversity, more must be done. Plans to extend this further are already in progress.

“The Governing Body reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that the school continues to offer an excellent education, including cultural development, for all its pupils, regardless of race, colour, religion or creed,” the governors said.

The comments follows the school attracting national attention for its Oftsed report, first revealed in the Rasen Mail, which stated one reason it failed to gain an ‘outstanding’ report was because inspectors felt children did not get enough experience of other cultures.

The story also led to outpourings of support to the school and headteacher Melonie Brunton and criticisms of government inspectors of being ‘politically correct’ and not accepting the realities of rural Lincolnshire, whose populations remain predominantly White British