Diversity And Equality Forum
Like all schools, St Paul’s follows the guidance of the Equality Act 2010, which outlines our responsibility to protect people from discrimination.
St Paul’s diversity group started early 2018 and was created for both parents and staff to work together in response to how our school could develop its practice in relation to diversity and inclusion. In the Diversity Group parents, guardians, and carers discussed questions of representation and underrepresentation, chronicling the experiences of some children, and making suggestions what changes would be useful. They included questions of gender bias, racism, religious exclusion, and demands for a widening of the breadth of the curriculum. It also discussed the need for more open-ended gender and sexuality references.
The school staff had a Story telling workshop in Sept 2019 which inspired reflection around archetypes and stereotypes. How important it is to have stories mirroring who you are! For this reason, we have begun an onging process of reviewing and updating our library to diversify representation, sourcing age-appropriate books for early years through to class 8. Diversity, equality and inclusion continues to be a focus for staff training and ongoing professional development at INSET days. In Sept 2020, all staff (including non-teaching roles) participated in training delivered by Equality UK and training on LGBTQ+ awareness, to inform our practice and the delivery of relationships education. In April 2021, our INSET focus was SEND provision, with all staff attending a workshop entitled ‘Every Teacher a Teacher of SEND’. The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship hosted an international Easter conference on the Theme of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, attended by St Paul’s staff. This conference marked the Steiner movements recognition of the need to focus on developing our anti-racist practice and ensuring we have an inclusive curriculum.
Over time, a group of dedicated parents met regularly whilst the staff continuously developed its work on equality and diversity in the school. The murder of George Floyd in 2020 brought the issues to the forefront with a much-increased interest both in the school and society as a whole, and it was soon decided collectively to go further in looking at the source of our education, material, curriculum, outreach, and accessibility. The Diversity group wrote the St Paul's Anti-racism statement endorsed by all, trustees, and staff.
The link between the parental DG and school was the newly dedicated Equality and Diversity Lead, Stephanie Gill, and the school leadership met with the chair of the DG. The need for all to sit in the same room to work together became apparent and, by the end of the summer term 2021, both communication and structure needed a change. The school would like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of all those parents and staff who have participated in the Diversity Group from 2018-2021.
The diversity aspect of the education is a priority for the school, for past, current, and prospective pupils and parents. To strengthen the progress, an E&D working group will be formed from September 2021 made up of teachers from all departments including E&D Lead and Head teacher.
ALL parents and staff can contribute to the discussion at the Equality and Diversity Forum held in school, once a term. The aim is to share our work and listen to questions and suggestions. These forums will replace the Diversity Group as the space for dialogue with parents. The value of holding meetings together with all members of the community is that we hear different perspectives within our community. We can also align our focus on different aspects of the provision, based on our current strategic development plan. We are all aiming to make the school as inclusive as possible.
If you have a question or concern, please contact your class teacher in the first instance. If it is about the administrative side of the school, please contact the school office. If it is about finance, the finance office. When it is about the overall provision, please contact the Head teacher, Anna Retsler. All concerns will be documented and the procedures within our complaints policy followed.
A healthy social life is found when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds it’s reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living
ANTI-RACISM statement approved by the Diversity Group and the college of teachers:
We are resolved explicitly and publicly to affirm that we are an anti-racist school.
We acknowledge that racism can be unconscious or unintentional.
We accept that we need to listen and learn,
We promise to purposefully discuss and challenge issues of race and colour and its impact on our school, its systems and its people.
We challenge ourselves to understand and to continue to discover and correct inequalities we may find.
We commit to our anti-racism in a way that can be reflected in the life and culture of our school and all its policies.
We are resolved to develop as individuals and as a collective to dismantle racism at school and in society as a whole.