One Year on. School Reflects on Diversity and Inclusion
Friday, 28 May 2021
After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and the subsequent growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, many institutions used the moment to examine their history as well as their current approach to diversity and inclusion. This was certainly the case at Bolton School, where internal reflection was supported by Alumni, who constructively engaged with teachers and pupils in examining the past, assessing the present and making sustainable changes for the future.
Over the last year, current students were canvassed and, subsequent to their comments, a number of changes were and will be made, the introduction of a quiet reflection room for private thought or prayer for one. Plans are being made to celebrate and inform about the range of cultures in school and to highlight synergies between their fundamental values. There will also be increased vigilance around harmful, casual comments and the usage of hurtful language. Philip Britton commented: 'This is the most basic but also the hardest aspect. Rather than not talking about difficult things we need to develop a vocabularly to be sure we do talk about them.'
Teachers too were surveyed and there was a strong commitment to act. Subject-wise, there has been consideration of how diversity and inclusion can be advanced and this has been particularly the case in English and History. There has been a great deal of activity delivered through creative endeavours in school, including Black History Month, the consideration of black role models, Homes Cultures, CreativesNow, YourManifesto and the RSA Pupil Design Awards.
There has also been a wider consideration of Lord Leverhulme’s impact holistically as pupils consider his life story. From a recruitment perspective, reviews have been made of the pipeline of supply and of where and how the school advertises.
You can read the full report of activities here. It summarises the activity and change in school one year on. Similar reports will be produced every summer for the next five years in order to drive a sustained approach to the issues and to systematically change habits within school life.
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