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Transforming education: whose story is told?

Updated: May 3

The pandemic has reminded us more than ever of how important schools are – not just in terms of educating young people, but in supporting parents and local communities. So as we think about creating a new, post-Covid society, it’s vital we think about the role the education sector can play.


Our latest seminar did just that.


We explored how schools and colleges can be engines for social change – and how we can reform them so they equip young people with the skills they need to live in a diverse society. We looked at what’s taught, how it’s taught, and the differing outcomes experienced as a result. At the heart of some of these concerns is the Eurocentric nature of the curriculum and the way different aspects of history and culture are presented. Whose story is told?



The education sector has at its heart ideals of ‘learning’, ‘development’, and ‘growth’. But might it be in danger of misunderstanding how these terms apply to itself? In this challenging session, we reflected on this question and the role of education in tackling racist ideologies.


Our main speakers and experts were:


David Gillborn

David is Professor of Critical Race Studies and Founding Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) at the University of Birmingham. David is author/editor of 13 books and more than 200 articles, chapters and reports. He has won the Society for Educational Studies’ prize for ‘Book of the Year’ twice and is currently finishing a new book, ‘White Lies: racism in education and society’. David is best known for his research on racism in educational policy and practice and, in particular, for championing the growth of Critical Race Theory (CRT) internationally.


Much of David’s writing is available for free download at here.


Inderjit Dehal

Inderjit has been involved in the equality and diversity arena for three decades – as a community activist organising on issues including police harassment, immigration and housing. Inderjit’s equality work led to a senior civil servant role at the Department of Education where he spent 12 years. He led the development of the UK Government's first national strategy to raise the attainment of Black and minority ethnic students. He also co-authored the DfE’s ground breaking report investigating the over-exclusion of Black pupils - Getting it, Getting it Right. In his time at the DfE, Inderjit headed up the London Challenge, widely regarded as one of the most effective education development programmes delivered in the UK. He led the expansion of the London Challenge, through the City Challenge, to over one third of English schools with a similar positive impact. He currently heads up the quality and professional development functions for a renowned group of international schools.

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