Black Lives Matter

As a Headington community, we pride ourselves on welcoming everybody to our school regardless of creed or colour and treating everyone equally and with respect. In our Year of Community, this has been particularly important and one of our aims has been to shine a light on the many and diverse communities within our school.

In light of conversations we’ve had with girls, parents, staff and alumnae since the death of George Floyd in America and Black Lives Matter protests around the world, we recognise as a school that we have an important part to play in tackling white privilege and racism. Following these discussions, we have made a series of commitments to ensure we are taking more action to ensure that girls at Headington can flourish free from any form of prejudice, discrimination or stereotyping.

We are making changes to the curriculum to make sure that topics which address racism, colonialism and other related issues are studied at appropriate points throughout pupils’ time at Headington. We will be reviewing books studied both as part of the curriculum and during extra-curricular clubs and activities to ensure these include a greater range of BAME authors and novels about race. I will also be using my external role as vice-chairman of the Independent Schools Council on a national platform to campaign against narrowing of the national curriculum and to lobby for more diverse voices and topics to be studied.

We are aware that our staff body is not fully representative of the diverse ethnic make-up of our student-body, or society as a whole, an issue which is reflected nationwide. To start to address this, we will actively investigate how we can increase our advertising and recruitment reach to ensure we can attract an even wider pool of applicants, including those from diverse ethnic backgrounds. We will be providing diversity and inclusion training for all members of staff and will review training needs in this area regularly to ensure that this is appropriate, sufficient and up to date for staff at all levels. We will also continue to explore ways in which diversity and racism is regularly discussed and addressed within the student body.

In addition, we will be establishing an advisory group on diversity issues, with a remit to review school systems and strategic decisions and the authority to contribute to the School’s development plan, thus ensuring that issues related to racism and diversity are addressed at every level. This group will be made up from representatives of different parts of the school community and it is my hope that it can quickly become an agent for long-lasting and continuous change.

I am committed to ensuring that we use our role as educators to ensure that not only do we make a positive contribution by shaping the views and attitudes of the young adults of tomorrow but we work tirelessly to ensure that whilst our pupils are at school, their experience is one of kindness and warmth where everyone feels welcomed and included.