Chancellor's School address equality, equity and diversity across school community

Posted on: 16/06/2021

As schools went into the first COVID lockdown and before the events surrounding the death of George Floyd, very few members of Chancellor's School would have been able to articulate an accurate definition of such words as micro-aggression, unconscious bias and cisgender.

What a difference a year makes! Over the course of the last year, Chancellor’s has undertaken something of a mini-revolution in how it addresses equality, equity and diversity (EED) across our entire school community.

They have taken a forthright and forensic approach to promoting equality, ensuring equity and celebrating diversity. Crucially much of the work has been led by students. Firstly, Sixth Formers who initially challenged the school to explore micro-aggressions within the local community and more recently, the whole-school staff and student working parties, who are collaborating to raise awareness across a number of different platforms, such as race, gender, sexuality and disability.

Already this year they have successfully promoted a ‘cultural calendar’, celebrating different aspects of school diversity through form period activities, weekly lock screens, library reading recommendations and presentations, newsletter and bulletin articles and physical displays. Black History Month in October and LGBT+ History month in February served as an opportunity to improve the community’s race and gender literacy, while whole school surveys helped them to understand the day-to-day challenges that different members of the school community face in relation to race. A highlight of the programme was a thought-provoking whole staff INSET on micro-aggressions and diversity awareness.

Their next phase of work is building on these strong foundations to establish a robust and resilient EED legacy across the school. The students have created an ‘EED Charter’, thier expectations of a rights respecting community to be observed by anyone belonging to or joining the school. Furthermore, they are challenging subject leads, as they reflect on their curriculum planning, to identify where they can fully embed Creators, Perspectives, Content and Visuals in their schemes of learning. On a pastoral level, Chancellor's School are looking into further tackling period poverty and providing extra channels of communication to capture the school experience of all students and as they welcome the construction of a new Maths and PE block, they are requisitioning a vacated space for a reflection and wellbeing room for all students. They continue, wherever possible, to engage with local diversity organisations and are creating a monthly vlog to record the ongoing work they are doing. They are very excited that this work has caught the attention of a local MP, and look forward to welcoming him into school when the opportunity arises to share the substantial work.

This is a never-ending programme, that can and should always be enriched and enhanced, but, with a fantastically committed team of students and staff on board, CHancellor's School community can be confident they are already beginning to make a tangible and sustainable difference.