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Bristol Medical School first in UK to adopt new BMA charter to address racial harassment

Press release issued: 2 March 2020

Bristol Medical School has announced it is the first UK medical school to adopt a new BMA racial harassment charter which aims to address the barriers faced by Black, Asian or other minority ethnic (BAME) students.

The charter, launched earlier this month by the British Medical Association following an Equality and Human Rights Commission report, sets out clear standards that medical schools need to follow to prevent racial harassment including providing support and training as well as how to respond when poor behaviour is seen or experienced.

In adopting the charter, the Bristol Medical School has committed to:

  • Supporting individuals to speak out 
  • Ensuring robust processes for reporting and handling complaints 
  • Mainstreaming equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across the learning environment
  • Addressing racial harassment on work placements 

Professor Ashley Blom, Head of Bristol Medical School, who signed the Charter on behalf of the University, said: "As the future of the medical profession, we want our students to study in a rewarding and inclusive environment where they can flourish while they train to become doctors.  

"In adopting this Charter we have committed to improving diversity and building inclusion for all medical students so they can become the very best doctor that they aspire to be."

The full charter can be viewed here.


Further information

The University is already taking action on this issue by supporting a range of initiatives to address racial harassment. These include:

  • An online Report and Support tool for both staff and students that offers staff a quick and easy way to tell us about specific incidents. Staff and students can use the tool to report something anonymously or to be linked to someone to talk about what they’ve experienced.
  • The University is part of the Bristol Race Manifesto Group and Bristol Race Equality Strategic Leadership Group. We continue to share our data and work with representatives from each of these organisations to develop city-wide activity to address racial inequalities.
  • Introducing Bystander at Work training for the promotion of inclusive workplaces, which will provide participants with the skills to intervene confidently and in ways that create lasting behavioural change.
  • The University is part of the Stepping Up initiative, which is a positive action programme aimed at improving the representation of BAME people, as well as other groups, in senior leadership roles within Bristol and the wider region.
  • Training for student-facing staff includes Introduction to Race Equality training, and a programme of training in Cultural Awareness and Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Hate Crime Awareness for Wellbeing and Residential Life staff.
  • In the 18/19 academic year the University launched the BME Success Programme - Be More Empowered (BME) for Success. The BME Success programme supports the experience and success of BAME students during their time at University. The programme employs a team of BME Success Advocates. These are students who work in partnership with other students and staff at the University to understand and address the challenges faced by BAME students, and to co-create and deliver a programme of events and activities which will generate discussion, reflect minority voices and foster an inclusive, high achieving community.




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