News Story

Inclusive recruitment on the agenda at inaugural Westminster conference

Inclusive recruitment on the agenda at inaugural Westminster conference

7 July 2022

The diversity of skills and experiences of school teachers and support staff was the focus as dozens of delegates from schools across England gathered for a day of learning at Westminster.

Westminster School in partnership with the Afro Caribbean Education Network (ACEN) hosted the event in June, designed to inform and provide examples of strategies that schools might look to follow in order to diversify their staff body and develop a genuinely welcoming and inclusive environment where diverse teachers feel supported both professionally and pastorally.

The event, lead by Westminster’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Jeremy Kemball, was well attended by teachers, senior leaders, HR professionals, bursars and governors from a wide range of independent schools, who attended a series of workshops covering all areas of recruitment, from advert to interview, and then ongoing professional development. Speakers included Dr Malcolm Cocks of St Paul’s School, Leah Morris of ACEN, Andrew Isama of Eton College, Jade Ramsay-Overall of St Paul’s Girls’ School, Allana Gay of Vita et Pax Preparatory School and BAMEed Network, Cecile Halliday of Northwood College GDST, and Floyd Steadman, former professional rugby player and headmaster.

Speaking of the importance of the event and its subject matter to Westminster, Jeremy Kemball said: “Westminster School is aware that a diversity of skills and experiences among its staff body will enhance the teaching and pupil experience a well as culturally enriching the whole school community. This inclusive recruitment event is crucial for us and other independent schools, as we have been perceived as institutions that do not welcome diverse individuals, especially as members of the teaching staff, and that the profile of the a typical teacher in the independent sector is fixed. It is important that independent schools challenge this notion and commits to demystify the independent sector, promoting it as a welcoming environment providing enriching teaching opportunities and career progression.

“Westminster will continue to partner with a range of diverse educational networks including ACEN and will act as sponsors for a number of relevant university societies. We are also reviewing where we advertise vacant teaching posts and the language we use in all our publications.”

Inclusive recruitment on the agenda at inaugural Westminster conference

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