As part of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) commitment to creating a sense of belonging for everyone, SWIFT is working with Hannah Wilson, co-founder of Diverse Educators.
Initially a grassroots network, Diverse Educators is now a training company working with all types of schools to support their DEI strategy and training needs, in the belief that schools are stronger, and can go further together, in collaboration with national and international organisations.
VISION | Everyone is celebrated in every classroom in every school.
MISSION | A collaborative community that celebrates the successes and amplifies stories of diverse people.
VALUES | Promoting acceptance; increasing visibility; encouraging celebration; creating belonging and enabling learning.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion celebrates the nine Protected Characteristics identified by The Equality Act (2010)
SWIFT is endeavouring to understand the needs of all the nine Protected Characteristics groups and seeks to improve a sense of belonging. As part of this pledge, we have created consistent branding and are creating new representative artwork and photo images as improved imagery on our website and socials that and humanises our community.
DEI should be about celebration, not tolerance (as in the hero image below):
For Diverse Educators, DEI is about the three Cs:
Consciousness, Confidence and Competence.
Diverse Educators will be providing training and support for SWIFT, our partners and schools; incorporating the development of our DEI Policy and Procedures, strategy and vision and we are embedding DEI through a partnership committee to leverage insights and diversify perspectives.
Improving our DEI awareness and how we use inclusive language will increase our confidence and enable us to increase our competence to share within our team, and also help us to raise awareness of our shared goals and approaches with everyone we work with: our partners, school leaders and teachers, Early Career Teachers, Mentors, trainers and trainees.
We want to breakdown any barriers so that everyone feels included. For our training events we are seeking to make reasonable adjustments to ensure accessibility and we have been striving to increase the diversity of speakers at our SWIFT conferences, Curriculum and Leadership Forums and CPD events.
Last Autumn Term, we provided menopause training and maternity / paternity training and established a SWIFT Equality & Diversity Professional Community led by Ruhaina Alford, Executive Headteacher of The Carey Federation (find more information about the April meeting here | free to SWIFT members and £25 for other colleagues).
We are reviewing our staff recruitment and retention policies so that everyone feels welcomed and a sense of belonging with equitable opportunities for career advancement. The number of people being promoted in education to senior leader positions is low, especially here in the South West, particularly for women and black people and as part of our initial teacher training responsibilities, we will be putting DEI at the centre of our new SWIFT SCITT.
Ultimately, at the heart of our affirming, validating and celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion, we understand that this will positively impact on our pupils and young people and we welcome news of any interesting DEI work undertaken by our partners.
More Information and Resources
To support the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey in your school, you can find lots of free resources on the Diverse Educators website, including a toolkit, a DEI Directory organised by the nine Protected Characteristics, and key words and acronyms.
When scheduling events in your organisation, you can find a list of awareness and celebration days/weeks/months of religious and cultural significance.
Listen to the #DiverseEd Podcast in which co-hosts Nick Kitchener-Bentley and Yamina Bibi interview a contributor from each of the 10 chapters of “Diverse Educators: A Manifesto.”
For regular news and views, read the Diverse Educators blog.
Report by Jude Owens, PA to the SWIFT Executive Team