The decolonising midwifery education toolkit has been designed for midwifery educators and supporting stakeholders involved in student recruitment, curriculum development and practice education to ensure education is inclusive and addresses the diverse maternity care needs of women and birthing people from the global majority and help improve the experiences of global majority students.
The following case studies provide examples of how midwifery education has put the toolkit into action along with additional resources to support. Do you have an example of good practice or a resource that you would like to see included – please let us know. We intend this hub to be an evolving source for guidance and support.
The Midwifery team at The University of Salford are actively engaged in working to create an inclusive, decolonised, and Anti-Racist curricula to support students in their journey to becoming culturally safe, inclusive and compassionate future midwives. The team acknowledge that decolonising the curriculum is a continuous process and requires ongoing change, challenge and commitment. The first step to this was a commitment from all staff members to enhance their knowledge on social justice, culturally safe practice and the importance of decolonising the curricula; allowing for deeper comprehension of the history of racism and its effects on the current maternity system, higher education institutes and students. All staff undertake intensive maternity cultural safety and decolonising the curriculum training annually and have access to training packages such as the Union Black Training. The midwifery team has appointed EDI leads to develop a decolonising the curriculum strategy and is currently reviewing the ethnicity attainment gap.
Annual cultural safety training has been implemented within the new curriculum across all years in all courses. Supporting this training are regular restorative circles facilitated by the Professional Midwifery Advocates within the team, holding space to explore the effects of racism in maternity care, white privilege, unconscious bias and how the intersectionality of race, class, economic status and access to opportunities combine to negatively affect women and birthing people. Students have weekly access to a student collective for Black, Asian and Racially Minoritised students, intended to create a safe space to share lived experience and explore the effects of microaggressions and foster an increased sense of belonging.
The curriculum content has been diversified and the euro-centric representation of knowledge is challenged within lectures. Simulation equipment is available in darker skin tones, and scenarios are utilised to teach students the skills of trauma informed care. Throughout the programme, students will have active bystander training, so they are equipped with the necessary skills to challenge discrimination in the workplace. All case studies include the person’s ethnicity and chosen pronouns alongside the clinical scenario, encouraging students to consider how their identity may affect their experience of care.
To assess and evaluate this learning, summative assessments throughout the course incorporate aspects of diversity, intersectionality and the demonstration of the role of the midwife in providing holistic, culturally safe care. Assessments are co-created and reviewed by service users to ensure accurate, culturally aware representations of the communities, including creating clinical skills viva scenarios in partnership with service users. The assessment criteria for each assessment requires students to consider the principles of cultural safety and inclusivity within their work, and they are graded on their ability to do so.
Students complete a case study assignment which encompasses and explores the lived experience of a Black birthing person with multiple intersecting identities accessing maternity care. The assignment requires students to consider how Black and Brown people’s experiences of maternity care intersect with transgender parents experiences, requiring them to take an intersectional perspective on how midwives can provide inclusive and culturally safe care. This assessment, which followed cultural safety and inclusivity training, demonstrated no award gap.
In September 2022, the Florence Nightingale Foundation hosted a webinar on 'How and Why to be an Ally'.
'This thought provoking webinar will focus on challenges faced by those wanting to become Allys and explore some of the reasons people choose not to put themselves in that space.'
Click here to watch the webinar.
Education marks the foundation of midwifery and the SMF believe that the education system should represent and reflect the needs of all students. Inclusion, Equity and diversity are vital in the midwifery climate which this webinar aims to address. The SMF has engaged with students from across the UK to hear their thoughts and feedback, and it is evident that there is a need for education to reflect individuals from all ethnicities as it stands 94% of the midwifery curriculum is centred around a euro-centric model. The three aims of this webinar are to:
- discuss the current state of midwifery education
- discuss the challenges associated with the current midwifery education system identify some of the solutions moving forward
Click here to find out more and watch the webinar.
With criteria set out by the team, MIDIRS has created a bespoke search of articles to accompany this subject matter and tool kit.
You can download it for free here.
'Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter provides a framework through which institutions work to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and students. Member institutions develop initiatives and solutions for action, and can apply for a Bronze or Silver Race Equality Charter award, depending on their level of progress.'
Click here to find out more.
'In 2020 lots of people shared a black square and pledged to dedicate themselves to the work of anti-racism. Three years on and Black, Asian and Mixed ethnicity mothers and birthing people, and their babies, still face worse health outcomes in birth than their white counterparts. This needs to change.'
Click here to read more.
The Cultural Competence elearning tool is made up of three 20-30 minute learning sessions. The purpose of the tool is to support clinicians in the NHS to gain knowledge and understanding of the issues around culture and health; and how this might influence health care outcomes.
Click here to find out more.
Future Learning and the University of Bristol offer a future learning course that aims to help you understand the nature of the colonial legacy on our current state of knowledge and learning practices, and how decolonisation of the curriculum is important for social and epistemic justice.
Click here to find out more and enroll on this course.
The RCM would like to thank the members of the stakeholder oversight group and reference group that collaborated on the production of the toolkit. There was representation from midwives, student midwives, MSWs, academics, RCM Fellows, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, NHS Race Health Observatory, a sociologist, an anthropologist, maternity voice partnerships and maternity service users.