Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Danes Educational Trust

Posted on: 20/05/2021

In 2018 when our Trust was on the cusp of expanding beyond its original 2 schools, we brought together key stakeholders – teachers, support staff, governors and Trustees - to identify what is important for us and what we want our legacy to be.  Out of this vision day, we identified 6 core values which underpin everything we do, one of these values is “we provide equality of opportunity and experience for all”.

It wasn’t until May 2020 and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement that we really reflected on how well we were living this value and whether there was more that could be done to advance equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in our schools.

St Clement Danes school decided to lead the way on auditing its current EDI practice with a view to achieving an external benchmark that would quality assure its commitment to equality.  In part, this was in response to the challenge from current and former students demanding a more inclusive environment, a challenge welcomed by the school.  The benchmark chosen was the Equaliteach Equalities Award which includes a rigorous audit of EDI practice aligned to Ofsted’s inspection framework: Behaviour and Welfare, Leadership and Management, Personal Development of Pupils and Teaching and Learning.

In order to bridge identified gaps, the school created a new, compelling vision for EDI:  “At St Clement Danes we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers and embracing the difference they bring to our school community.  We want everyone in our school community to experience kindness and respect; and to be treated with the dignity they deserve”.  The vision is supported by robust equality objectives, an EDI staff working group and an EDI student group.  All staff have received training on the Equality Act, Unconscious Bias and the Public Sector Equality Duty and further training in partnership with Equaliteach is planned for the Summer Term.

The school has shown such energy and commitment to achieving the award that it has achieved it in just 8 months, a process that usually takes 18 months and is testament to the efforts of those involved in particular, Sarah Doyle, Assistant Headteacher.

Looking ahead, we would like all schools in our Trust to participate in the Award to ensure that all of our environments are ones where there is equality of opportunity and experience for everyone enabling all members of our community to be the best they can be.

Marianne Barlow
Head of Human Resources

Read more about the work done at St Clement Danes School as part of the audit in the article on their website.