TRANSFORMATION, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

ADVANCEMENT

St Benedict's is a proudly South African school

The diversity of our community - at all levels - is potentially one of our greatest strengths and finest resources. Simultaneously, however, our differences give rise to the potential for discrimination and prejudice. Diversity at St Benedict’s refers to the wide range of differences between people and includes, amongst others, differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, culture, language, religion, ability levels, and age.

OUR
COMMITMENT

St Benedict's believes that racism and discrimination are intolerable as defined in the South African Constitution. St Benedict's is therefore committed to:

  • Actively counteracting and dismantling discrimination and structural racism and prejudice;
  • Celebrating diversity in our school;
  • Treating all members of the school community as equals within the spirit of human rights;
  • Being a part of the broader transformation of South African society.

 

STRATEGY &
IMPLEMENTATION

To embrace transformation and promote a culture of diversity, St Benedict's strives to:

  • St Benedict's is committed to making our school as widely representative of the diverse sectors of South African society.
  • This applies equally to learners, staff and management, and governance structures.
  • Wherever possible and educationally feasible, the inclusivity of learners with special educational needs will be encouraged. This is addressed in the school's policy on Inclusion, Full Service and Academic Support.

SUPPORTIVE,
EDUCATIONAL ETHOS

St Benedict’s is committed to developing and promoting a supportive, educational ethos.

  • Curriculum development is undertaken in such a way that it embraces the dynamics of cross-cultural complexities and that there is a clear commitment to democratic principles.
  • Curriculum and other programmes are implemented to instill awareness, acceptance, sensitivity and broad minded attitudes that are free of bias, prejudice and uninformed judgments.

 

Initiatives in place to support Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion

Embrace, Ububele, Brother's Keeper and the formation of a Transformation & Diversity team

Embrace

The annual Embrace symposium is aimed at creating a space where we engage with like-minded experts and individuals in exploring our role in the promotion of social justice and social cohesion in our schools.

The education sector is marked by a fragmented social culture which springs from a historic context. As St Thomas Aquinas aptly states we have a shared responsibility of ensuring that our neighbour achieve a good and dignified life. We must be the agents of change.

Part of our school's mission is to espouse the democratic values of justice and fairness. We ascribe to the principles of common good, cultivating stewardship and the promotion of active involvement in the practice of social justice and social cohesion .

Ububele

The spirit of ubuntu: generosity, community wellness and togetherness.

At St Benedict's education goes far beyond academic acumen. Promoting an understanding and principles of social justice and social cohesion is an appreciation of the essential part of raising boys to become confident men.

UBUBELE, a community fundraising initiative, helps us to integrate the principles of social justice and social cohesion and allows every boy the opportunity to engage fully and actively in all the programmes best suited for his learning and development.

Access and participation without the barriers of affordability gives boys the freedom to excel in all areas thanks to our members' monthly contributions.

Brother's Keeper

Headboy 2017, Bohlokoa Tlhomola, wrote in his introductory presentation of Brother's Keeper:

There is no doubt in my mind that it will grow and I cannot wait to see a St Benedict's community filled with men who are proud enough to say that they are their Brother's Keeper.

Bohlokoa Tlhomola, Headboy 2017

Brother's Keeper, a peers-based initiative sprang from a need to support College boys who lack the necessary funds to participate actively in the school's co-curricular programme. This crowdfunding initiative is a true expression of our community's social cohesion and care for those boys who lack the resources to participate actively in the co-curricular programme of the school.

friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

Transformation & Diversity Team

Our Transformation and Diversity Team holds open forum meetings where conversations are explored about our own knowledge and experience of transformation and diversity and the extent to which we embrace and promote individual and institutional cohesion within the St Benedict's community.

The forum engages in conversations with the boys, parents and staff in a process that helps understand the individual's lived experience on campus. Going forward we will continue to focus on our commitment to develop leadership capacity around equity and transformation across the school and improve our school climate for diverse students, staff and visitors.

Statement of Intent

Since its founding in 1958, St Benedict's has always been a school that has opened its doors to pupils of all races. St Benedict's reaffirms the importance of diversity as a core value and encourages all its stakeholders to regularly undertake a critical self-examination of its approach to equity and diversity. This belief, together with the impetus produced by ISASA's initiatives in this regard - in particular, the publication of the ISASA Toolkit for Diversity and Transformation led to the establishment of a Transformation and Diversity Team at St Benedict's.

Goals of the Transformation and Diversity initiative

  • Fostering and communicating our commitment to transformation so that it is understood, accepted and supported by all stakeholders;
  • Establishing a community and environment that is: welcoming to all; where learners, parents and staff value themselves and learn to respect the differences that exist in our society; that understands that we are united in diversity and strengthened through it; that promotes dissonance and discourse in a safe place and within a framework of ethical and value based rules and which leads to a greater understanding of the social relevance of identity and transformation;
  • Supporting the transformation of the South African economy by supporting BEE compliant companies in our procurement and tendering policies.