28 April 2021 Share
A campaign to advance diversity and inclusion in schools
Inclusion Labs, a purpose driven non-profit company, have announced the launch of a Decade of Diversity initiative which will see schools, organisations and individuals - including the SLA - commit to up to two pledges that help to advance diversity and inclusion in schools across England and Wales. These are:
1. to ensure 25% Diverse Literature in schools by 2030
2. to ensure Diverse Governing Boards in schools by 2030
The initiative, which has been backed by 30 organisations and individuals, was designed to coordinate commitments to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in schools and to accelerate the bold aims and outcomes of each pledge through action over the next 10 years.
The lack of diverse literature and leadership are decades-long issues both within the education sector and across other industries. The progress required to shift the needle is an urgent one and it cannot be achieved in silo. No one individual or institution can carry this responsibility, it requires an all-hands-on deck approach, with various partners doing their bit, regardless of how large or small.
“In our schools, the books we read should tell our students it is okay to love themselves and to love others. They should affirm all identities and celebrate all aspects of individuality and diversity. We have to ensure that the people making decisions about our schools reflect the communities they serve, as well as our wider society. By giving voice to all groups, we ensure that barriers are addressed and challenged. Furthermore, all young people deserve to see people like them in leadership positions, emphasising their value and protection as well as raising their aspirations,” says Temi Akindele Barker, Founder of Inclusion Labs.
SLA CEO Alison Tarrant says, "The SLA is incredibly proud to be supporting this initiative to create necessary change within schools. There are signs that representation is increasing within children's books, however this is only the first step. Those books need to make it to children; which means schools need to assess their collections and buy thoughtfully, and we will be supporting all schools to engage with this and help them in any way we can - including by increasing awareness of book choices and offering training and support for those undertaking the pledge."
Learn more about how you can get involved with the Decade of Diversity campaign and help advance diversity and inclusion within the education system here.