As St Benedict’s continues to grow and flourish within the new political and educational landscape of South Africa, the magnitude and complexity of diversity and transformation dictates that we broaden our perspectives and recommit ourselves to building a community in which equity and diversity are viewed not only as a moral and ethical imperatives but also as practical necessities.
The school reaffirms the importance of diversity as a core value and encourages all its stakeholders to regular undertake a critical self-examination of its approach to equity and diversity.
This belief, together with the impetus provided by ISASA’s initiatives in this regard – in particular, the publication of ISASA Toolkit for Diversity and Transformation has led to the establishment of a Transformation and Diversity Team at St Benedict's.
Since its founding in 1958, St Benedict's has always been a school that has opened its doors to pupils of all races. However, in recent years Transformation and Diversity at St Benedict’s has happened "organically”.
It is envisaged that the Task Team will focus on three phases of institutional change:
- Institutional Change
- Individual Change
The long term goals of the Transformation and Diversity initiative will include:
- 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;
- Transforming the school community;
- Supporting the transformation of the South African economy by supporting BEE compliant companies in our procurement and tendering policies
Practically, the school will also have to realign its operations in line with the expectations of a transformed parent and student body, including but not limited to increased boarding facilities; the introduction of an alternate 1st Additional Language and the reassessment of activities offered as part of the school's sporting and cultural programmes.