Dulwich College Senior Deputy Fiona Angel reflects on progress made on its Diversity & Inclusion programme and the opportunities and challenges ahead

What happens in schools today will impact directly on the shape of our future society and, whilst Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) progress has been made, there is no space for complacency. We are particularly alert to the fact that an increasingly diverse community – of pupils, staff and governors –does not necessarily mean a genuinely inclusive one. The litmus test for inclusion is when all within the school community feel they are valued, listened to, and have found a place where they don’t just ‘fit in’ but truly belong.

Our commitment to D&I is rooted in processes and challenges we have identified through external surveys and pupil and staff voices. In addition to ongoing curriculum review and reform, our core actions focus on:

  • Training to educate and build staff confidence, looking specifically at bias, language, banter and reporting
  • D&I recruitment and retention – essential in helping pupils ‘see themselves’ reflected in the staff body
  • Pupil mentoring – similar lived experiences help more in the community feel supported
  • Raising awareness across the pupil body around bias, banter, discrimination and prejudice
  • An ‘Inclusive Environment’ programme to develop safe and inclusive spaces through display, signage and messaging celebrating core D&I values.

A self-selecting group across the school community, our D&I Alliance has a focus on Race and Ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and Gender Allyship. These strands are led by our D&I Prefects and designated staff members with overall support from our Director of Diversity and Inclusion. We also have a D&I Forum made up of a representative from every tutor group in the College. We meet termly to hear their views and suggestions and ask questions to further the work of the Alliance.

Looking at wider learning, our Free Learning calendar of events, often run for or in conjunction with our partner schools, includes Black History Month, Holocaust Memorial Day, DC IAM (in February 2023 the College held its third Identity Awareness Month), International Women’s Day and Refugee Week. We have screened the Windrush film Stand Firm, narrated by Benjamin Zephaniah, holding a Q&A with its director Theo Lee Ray and Co-Founder of the Windrush Foundation Arthur Torrington. As a Windrush descendant, Arthur confirmed: “I am not a settler, I belong”.

Dulwich College
Diverse activities across the school reinforce positive messages and encourage dialogue and understanding

This academic year, our Archive Research project is uncovering and adding to our own hidden history, celebrating diverse pioneers from across academic, entrepreneurial, creative, cultural, adventurous, and sporting fields. Our training programmes continue with an all staff INSET with ‘It Happens’, looking at gender stereotypes, consent and equity in addition to awareness across Race and Ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and Gender Allyship.

On a day-to-day basis, here at Dulwich College we are determined to help our community be more aware, be active in allyship, and strive to ensure all pupils and staff feel they belong.

Dulwich College dulwich.org.uk

Further reading: King’s Canterbury on co-curricular riches