THE past fortnight has been turbulent for the relationship between the council and many charities and third-sector organisations in Glasgow. After a summer of uprising and new momentum for the Black Lives Matter campaign, it’s right that the need for anti-racist work in Scotland and Glasgow comes into sharper focus.

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights does amazing work in our city, including working in partnership with the council on the dream of a national museum of slavery, empire, migration and colonialism.

This kind of partnership is certainly valued in theory, but when it comes to the practical realities of funding pots it’s a different story. There are some things that we can’t afford to do without, like money and legal advice services, and key equalities work protecting the human rights of marginalised groups. CRER and other BAME-led organisations in our city do core anti-racist work. We must recognise there is going to be an ongoing need for this work – and therefore the need for long-term, sustainable funding is also a reality the council should accept.

There’s more we can and must do towards racial justice in Glasgow. We’ve seen improvements in the makeup of the council workforce after concerted efforts to remove recruitment barriers – there is so much more to be done though. Meeting the council target of 6% BAME workers by 2022 will require doubling current representation, and yet to match the city’s current population makeup it should be doubled again to around 12%.

One of the key areas to improve is the number of BAME teachers. Black young people, who may be one of only a handful of BAME kids in their year, can go through their entire school career without ever having a black teacher. In the same way that teenage girls often feel more comfortable talking about periods with women teachers, black and minority ethnic young people deserve teachers who will understand where they are coming from.

There is a very real need for support. A 2005 study in Scotland found racism was seen as a feature of daily life for BAME school students, who also often felt their teachers would not understand their experience or be able to help.

Nothing has changed – this summer saw an outburst of pain from black current and former pupils of Scottish schools sharing their experience of racist bullying. Their stories were utterly harrowing, and what was striking was the number of incidents in full view of teachers.

We must assume this is also happening in Glasgow schools, and take action to protect these young people and give them a safe learning environment. We need mandatory recording of racist incidents and prejudice-based bullying. We need comprehensive anti-racist training for teachers, which includes young people’s lived experiences. And we need to believe young people when they are brave enough to come forward, and then work with them for real cultural change. That’s how we work for a fairer, safer Glasgow for all of us.