Equality matters. Of course it does.
Yet we know that education, as an institution, can be a breeding ground for systemic discrimination. We know that we want it to be a more equal, equitable and inclusive space – but how do we go about achieving this in a meaningful and non-tokenistic way? Especially after the headline news stories about injustices simmer down – how do we drive forwards an institutional conversation about equality and inclusion when it is one that many find uncomfortable? How about striving to make the ‘uncomfortable’ comfortable?
We know that a lack of education surrounding these topics often leads to ignorance, fear and misunderstanding. So, at Mill Hill, we are making it our mission not only to provide an exemplary academic education, but an outstanding pastoral one too.
Matters of equality, diversity and inclusion are very much on our radar.
As well as PSHE lessons that incorporate these values, the majority of Fourth Form pupils will engage in a Martlet session that explores equality and equity, and their relationship with race and gender identity.
Mr Cambridge leads on the School’s LGBT+ Society, a powerful and empowering space for members of this community and their allies. In June, Forth Form pupils celebrated the first Mill Hill School LGBT awareness day during which they created some Pride flowers and heard insightful and thought-provoking presentations from a current pupil and an Old Millhillian about their journeys as members of the LGBT community. This was a wonderfully inclusive event which allowed pupils to celebrate the diversity which exists within our school community. We are looking forward to the next event in 2023.
We have had guest speakers, including Floyd Steadman and Jude Guaitamacchi, talk to The Common Room and Pupils about their experiences of race and gender respectively and following these, we are looking to understand unconscious bias in our school, starting with training staff to recognise how it might occur.
And most importantly, we want to bring together these pockets of brilliantly progressive work under one umbrella to ensure a more unified and coherent approach.
We want to ensure that Mill Hill is a consistently safe, equitable and inclusive space for every single member of its community. We know that this is a process that requires constant vigilance. We know that this is not an easy task. But nonetheless, it as a task to which we are tenaciously dedicated.
Mr Jude Kerswill, Teacher of English