Last week we were honoured to have Floyd Steadman speaking to our Year 7 and 8 pupils, followed by a talk to Belmont staff as part of our Professional Development meeting. Floyd talked about his incredible life story. He told us about his desperately difficult childhood, the struggles that he faced in his rugby career and in his quest to become a headmaster because of the colour of his skin, and the loss of his beloved wife, Denise. The pupils were in awe of this amazing man and his moving story. Despite the challenges, he became captain of Saracens and Head of four different prep schools. I was fortunate to work with Floyd as a fellow Belmont Deputy Head for a short while and he truly is an inspiration.
Aside from his unbelievable story, the key messages for me were how it is important for us all to reflect on the unconscious bias we may all have and try to have a greater awareness of our own behaviour. Floyd’s message to his audience about how he responded to the injustices he faced was also powerful in that he always tried to remain calm and dignified. The final reflection, thankfully, is how much society has moved on since the 1970s and 1980s. Our younger generations are passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and, without being complacent, we should be optimistic of a brighter, fairer and more compassionate society where Generation Z and Alpha are our future leaders.