Equality and Diversity: From Good Intentions to Positive Action
The White Hills Park Trust Summer Conference
This year the White Hills Park Trust's Summer Conference took place at Bramcote College, focusing on the theme of 'Equality and Diversity: From Good Intentions to Positive Action' and featurede workshops led by teachers, leaders, Trust managers and directors, and external professionals. Over the previous year, a group of our Trust staff dedicated their time to looking at the way we can play our part in building a positive, inclusive and equal society, culminating in the conference where they shared their work.
The day took place on a school INSET day for our staff, and was a chance for all the trust’s directors and managers, leaders, teachers, support and administrative staff to come together to share ideas and take part in workshops aimed at developing the inclusive culture across all our schools.
In addition to our workshops, we were delighted to welcome Stuart Lawrence to the trust as our keynote speaker. Stuart is a teacher, published author and Multicultural Business & Community Champion Award winner, who dedicates his working life to bringing about positive change and social justice following the tragic murder of his younger brother Stephen Lawrence in an unprovoked racist attack, and the failings in the way the case was handled afterwards.
In his book, Stuart Lawrence talks about what he has learned from life - the tools that have helped him live positively and kept him moving forwards when times have been tough. From role models to self-control, failure to imagination, Stuart's aim with this book is to use his own experience to help young people - to help all people - harness the good in themselves and in the world around them, using that fire of positivity to create change in their lives.
"We all want to be successful in life and to be remembered for our achievements - but how can we do that, when the world can seem so big and sometimes scary?"
Stuart Lawrence, 'Silence is Not An Option'
The day began at 9am, with a chance to register and enjoy a drink and a chat before the sessions started.
Following an introduction from the Trust's CEO Dr Paul Heery and a keynote address from Stuart Lawrence, staff moved on to their chosen workshops:
Transgender with Adam Brett
In this session, we will look at how we can support our students who are trans, non-binary, or questioning their gender identity. The session will have a focus on vocabulary, rights and responsibilities, as well as practical suggestions about how we can make our classrooms more gender inclusive.
Neurodiversity with Remi Chappell
In this session Remi will explain what Neurodiversity actually is and how the concept relates to neurological conditions. She will go on to explore how this impacts the workplace and what best practice helps to secure a neuro-inclusive strategy for recruiting, retaining and developing staff.
Paved with Good Intentions with Jamie Hutchinson
A review of SEND provision over the years and a look to the future. Equality duty, due regard and are reasonable adjustments enough?
Governance and EDI with Susanna Atassi Wagner
The role of governance in shifting the dial towards true inclusion and diversity.
This short workshop will look at the role governors and trustees play in creating an inclusive culture across the trust. The legal duties of governing bodies will be explained before prompting discussion on how good governance should go beyond compliance to create a space within schools where everyone “can be their authentic selves and thrive” (National Governance Association).
Students' Voices with Jakob Barker and Cameron Wedgeworth
What are the views of our students? In this workshop, Cameron and Jakob will be using qualitative student voice data to explore pupils’ thoughts and feelings about diversity in the curriculum as it currently stands. They will be discussing their findings and sharing some research on diversity within their subject areas, and then inviting participants to reflect on any implications for their own contexts.
Recruitment with Sue Angood
This workshop will examine the importance of diversity in our workforce and will look at our own and common practice of recruitment. During the workshop, participants will be asked to consider their own experiences of recruitment, including an exercise designed to consider ways of attracting a move diverse workforce.
Free your subconscious bias - Building good habits in Early Years with Tracy Hopkins
This event will first examine our own thoughts, attitudes and assumptions towards difference and diversity, particularly those barriers which are subconscious and attitudinal. We will then explore how to create a learning environment for our youngest children that respects diversity to foster children’s positive self-concept and attitudes.
This event is for teachers and support staff working within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Cultural Inclusion with Adam Lumley and Hannah Clarke
In our inclusive school, teachers work together with specialists and experts to meet the needs of young people. This gives high-tariff pupils the right support they need to enable them to flourish in mainstream schools. All children and staff teams can benefit from an inclusive school culture. Meet and listen to the professionals who make this possible in one school.
This is created by primary and is suitable for both leaders, teachers and support staff. Although it could be relevant for everyone.
Race and Identity with Michelle Chauhan
An interactive workshop looking at the many aspects which make-up our diverse school communities and how we can, as educators, enable purposeful practice and deliver a diverse curriculum to suit the needs of all children.
Drawing on current research, we will look at our own racial identity and literacy and build our knowledge to increase confidence in our approach to diversity. We will reflect upon our own practice and seek to create our own action plans, linked to your school’s priorities for Equality and Diversity.
This session is suitable for teaching and support staff but all staff within school would gain insight from this training.
Positive Attitudes and Inclusive Practice with Craig Hayward-Mitchell
This session explores the issues of equality in all aspects of school life - curriculum, staffing, pupil personal development and leadership - with a particular focus on LGBTQ. We consider how schools can create an environment where positive and inclusive attitudes are fostered and supported.
Decolonising the curriculum? An exploration of approaches to multicultural education with Jenny Read and Olivia Daniel
Suitable for all teachers in all phases and others such as librarians / SLT / TAs who have an interest in curriculum design, planning and resources.
This workshop aims to explore the concept of "decolonising the curriculum" looking at curriculum design, planning and implementation with practical ideas which are applicable to all subject areas.
After the workshops and a break for lunch, the day concluded with two final group sessions, ending at around 3pm.