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Diversity & Inclusion – A Year in Review

As we take stock of the past 12 months, we share some of the ways our current and former pupils have inspired us to think and work harder to achieve racial diversity and equality at South Hampstead.

25th May 2020 

  • George Floyd’s arrest and murder in Minneapolis USA

June 2020 

  • 368 South Hampstead alumnae send a jointly signed letter to the school asking for a review of the curriculum and action on diversity and inclusion
  • Headmistress Mrs Bingham responds to the joint letter outlining some key steps that the school and GDST as a whole will take
  • A full school assembly is held to address the issues raised; a statement is published on our website
  • Individual alumnae are telephoned by the Headmistress to discuss their experiences whilst pupils at the school

July 2020

  • The GDST launch the Undivided Charter for Action and South Hampstead adopts the recommendations
  • A Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee is established to look at how we can address racial equality across all areas in the school; two alumnae are invited to join this committee – Tanya Agarwal (class of 2014) and Imisioluwa Johnson-Epega (class of 2011) – alongside staff and pupil representatives
  • We invite Dr Pragya Agarwal and Angela Saini to speak to our pupils, staff and partner schools about racism and unconscious bias as part of our Speaker Series programme

September 2020

October 2020

  • We celebrate Black History month with a series of events, assemblies and activities

November 2020

  • Dr Yolanda Ohene joins Year 10 for an online talk about her research into brain imaging and raising the profile of black women working in STEM

January 2021

  • We commission Flair, who help to build anti-racist cultures; they conduct a race survey and give recommendations for areas of improvement
  • The Diversity and Steering Committee present their recommendations and suggest a framework for future action

February 2021

  • We launch a Bursary Mentoring scheme to encourage more young people from different backgrounds join South Hampstead
  • We continue to review how diversity and inclusion are embedded in our everyday teaching and learning

March 2021

  • Rolake Osabia, an artist and PhD researcher in the English department at UCL, speaks to pupils about Black feminism
  • Elsie Owusu OBE, founding chair of the Society of Black Architects, gives a talk to GDST pupils
  • Former member of staff Lynn Frank returns to speak to staff about the importance of bursaries as a means of increasing diversity

April 2021

  • Mrs Bingham updates the whole school on progress and our three-year strategic plan at assembly
  • Alumna Karen Pollock CBE is nominated as the GDST Alumna of the Year and returns to talk to pupils about religious intolerance
  • We appoint a ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ champion to the new Head Girl Team

May 2021

  • David Baddiel is our Speaker Series guest, who delivers a powerful talk about racism and his book Jew Don’t Count
  • The Diversity and Steering Committee evolves into the Sixth Form-led Diversity Team and our Undivided Council as we seek to continue to implement recommendations
  • We celebrate the Festival of Eid and the culture and heritage of Asia through themed activities, led by the Sixth Form Diversity Team
  • Individual subject activities continue to embrace diversity – e.g. Lower Sixth Scientists make the finals of an Cambridge innovation competition, designing a pulse oximeter to specifically help eliminate racial bias in its usage

The above are just a few highlights from the past year. We remain committed to addressing inequality and bias at South Hampstead and our work does not stop here. We are now implementing a three-year strategic plan and have commissioned annual surveys with FLAIR to track, evaluate and reflect on our progress.  There is always more that can be done but we are also proud of what has already been achieved. Thank you to everyone in our community for their input and support. 


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