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New report highlights risk of sidelining ED&I in school trusts

10 March 2023
Emma Hughes

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) in school trusts is too often sidelined to a few HR initiatives, according to a new report published this week. 

Drawing from multiple case studies, the report finds that leadership must focus on fostering an inclusive culture, cautioning companies to be aware of the risks associated with dismissing ED&I as solely the responsibility of HR professionals. Instead, a fully integrated approach from all levels within the company is required to achieve an inclusive culture. 

The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in School Trusts report has been created to provide a resource to boards and executives providing guidance on how to initiate and maintain meaningful ED&I initiatives, and to disseminate insights and experiences across the sector. 

The report was conducted by consultancy Trust Inclusion, working in collaboration with our team and developing case studies with a selection of academy trusts across the country. These include Compass Academy TrustDixons Academies Trust and Oasis Community Learning, and share examples of good practice for a fully cohesive ED&I strategy. 

The report highlights actionable instances and experiences of organisations that are addressing gender pay gaps and promoting inclusion.

The key findings are: 

  • Everyone has a role to play, ED&I shouldn’t be sidelined as an HR initiative 
  • Boards, executives and leaders can do more to take forward the ED&I agenda 
  • Building trusts with an inclusive culture can reap the benefits of diversity
  • Practical examples and learnings from trusts addressing inclusion and gender pay gap

Mandy Coalter, Co-Founder of Trust Inclusion comments:  

“Building inclusive leadership has never been more important in our sector than right now, given the size and scale of the challenges we face. We hope the report will contribute positively to the education sector, in which every pupil, parent and member of staff should feel included and to experience a sense of belonging. “

Mark Blois, National Head of Education at Browne Jacobson, said:  

"Trust Inclusion’s report underlines that the only way to truly advance the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in the sector, is to accept a collective responsibility that involves participation from board members, executives, and leaders at all levels. A culture of inclusivity can only thrive if every member of the team is fully committed to supporting it.

Browne Jacobson is pleased to support this vital work, which we hope will motivate and encourage trusts to implement increasingly impactful and meaningful measures towards ED&I.”

Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services at Browne Jacobson, said:

“As a firm, Browne Jacobson is deeply committed to social mobility and of course equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and we are so pleased to support this important piece of work from Trust Inclusion. There is growing evidence that suggests improving the EDI with the school workforce will lead to better student outcomes.”

Access The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in School Trusts report

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