Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Balcarras: Proud to be Diverse and Inclusive

The school is totally committed to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). This commitment stems all the way from the Trustees who are ultimately responsible for governance within the Balcarras Trust, to the local governors who have responsibility for Balcarras school particularly, to the senior staff who set the tone in the school day to day, and throughout all of the school staff who promote and uphold EDI in the school.

We have always said that it is our mission to create schools to which we would be more than happy to send our own children. As parents we want our children, not just to be safe in school, but to feel secure and to feel that they are respected as individuals. The staff of the school are committed to ensuring that this is the case day in, day out.

The Trustees have committed themselves to equality and have an overarching Equalities Statement which pertains to all schools inside the Trust. It is available here:


Here is a key excerpt from it:

Balcarras Trust is a diverse community, serving a richly varied society. The Trust is committed to equality of provision and opportunity for everyone at the Trust. No individual will be restricted because of their race, gender, culture, religion or any other characteristic.

Balcarras Trust requires all schools in the Trust to provided equal opportunities to all its pupils and staff.

The Equalities Statement insists that all schools will have an up-to-date Equalities Policy. The Governors at Balcarras review this on a regular basis. The latest review is available here:


The policy includes a section on Race Equality.

These policies and statements are reviewed as a matter of course. The staff receive annual training which includes training on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This is done via the two INSET opportunities that occur in the first week of the autumn term.

The governors and trustees complete all statutory training for their roles. In April 2024 the Trust has decided to organise a specific training session for governors/trustees around this area.

We regularly review our Recruitment, Selection & Disclosure Policy & Procedure. This policy sets out that we are committed to ensuring that no job applicant is treated unfairly on any grounds including race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, disability or age.

A copy of the policy can be found here:


Each advert for a position within the school contains the following:

Balcarras School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We particularly welcome applications from underrepresented groups including ethnicity, gender, transgender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Curriculum

The school is committed to ensuring that everyone who works here is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. We want to ensure that all young people are respected and treated fairly. However, our responsibility goes further than this. It is vital that equality, diversity and inclusion in intrinsic to the work of the school and this should be actively demonstrable in the curriculum. The examples below give a flavour of how the school actively seeks to teach proactively in this area. 

Personal Development (PSHE)

Our personal development curriculum covers a range of issues and topics related to equality, diversity and inclusion. Personal development lessons occur once a week. In addition to this we suspend the timetable 6 times per year to enable 6 two hour slots for whole school personal development.

The PSHE Policy is available on our website here:


Our curriculum is available to view here:


Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is central to much of this curriculum but we would highlight the following areas as particularly important in this regard. The following are covered during the weekly Personal Development lesson which takes place every Monday at 2.10pm:

Year 7:

-What is diversity?

-Understanding identity

-Different families


-Discrimination and the Equality Act 2010

-British values

Year 8:

-Challenging gender stereotypes

-Children's rights

-Discrimination and the Equality Act 2010

-British values assembly (delivered by one of the senior staff)


Year 9: 

-Recognising and preventing discrimination

-Making disclosures of abuse

-Discrimination and the Equality Act 2010

-British values

-Valuing diversity (inclusion, belonging and addressing extremism)


Year 10:

-Challenging prejudice and discrimination

-Know your rights: The Equality Act 2010


-British values

Year 11:

-Recognising harassment and abuse

-Privilege (RE lessons created by Head of Religious Studies)

-Human rights


We deliver the following lessons during our 2-hour extended personal development lessons:

Year 7:


Year 8:

Racism and xenophobia (including Black Lives Matter) – teaching materials created by the Head of Religious Studies.

Year 9:

Equality and discrimination

Year 10:


The Religious Studies Curriculum

The mission statement of the department contains the following:

The Religious Education Department at Balcarras aims to produce religiously educated and aware pupils who also value truth, seek justice and honour, respect themselves and others and who care about British values and the world they live in. Our aim is to educate pupils so that they are interested in and can understand the religious beliefs, values and traditions of others whilst also being willing to assess their own beliefs against conflicting opinion. As a result of this, religious education helps our pupils build their sense of identity and belonging and allows them to explore world issues in a secure background. Moral and spiritual growth is at the heart of our teaching and pupils are encouraged to show that they are learning from world religions not just learning about world religions.

In Year 7 our pupils study Jesus Christ. We look at race and how Jesus was certainly not white. This leads to a discussion of racial bias and why people may have wanted to portray him as white. We also look at evil and we look at moral evil - racism is an example we use here and we show a clip about two people who discuss their experiences of racism both overt and indirect.

Later in the year our pupils study the concept of justice. With this unit we teach about anti racist Christians and contemporary change makers including Martin Luther King and Stormzy.

In Year 8 we teach the caste system. This involves several lessons of teaching and an assessment where we focus on equality and inequality. We also study Sikhism where equality is a huge feature and we discuss what that means in a modern society and how it can affect people.

In Year 9 we teach Judaism and Islam. In these units we cover islamophobia. Racist discrimination is part of a discussion here and we discuss how, as a society, we could stop racism and islamophobia. We also look at the holocaust and antisemitism. Racism again is part of the discussion here.

The History Curriculum

We have designed our KS3 curriculum to be as flexible and as inclusive as possible. We have opted to utilise the "slot in approach" of inclusion so lessons on diversity, women, and multicultural Britain are weaved throughout the Key Stage curriculum - an ongoing process that is ever changing but preferable, we feel, to having "dedicated" foci.

  • Recent changes include teaching of "pre-colonial" Africa to dispel any myths about Africa during the medieval and early modern periods - this is taught to all year 7 pupils
  • Frequent reminders of how Britain's multiculturalism has continued / changed throughout history - our major focus is on "people" - we teach students that from the Roman era the British Isles have constantly been shaped by immigration. Throughout the period, from Roman conquest, through the arrival of Angles, Saxons, Normans through the Early Modern period and in the post-colonial era, migration to these islands has been a constant feature in shaping our culture and society.
  • Year 8s pupils are taught a more modern interpretation of the legacy of Empire exploring not just slavery, but how Empire impacted various peoples across history
  • In Year 9 we have a series of lessons on the British West Indies Regiment and of course explore the dangers of racial stereotyping through the "pyramid of hate" aspects of the Holocaust
  • At GCSE we ensured that we chose Migration as the breadth study from a range of possible topics. Less than 10% of schools nationally choose this unit but we think that those who do not are making a mistake. The unit allows us to once again focus on the diverse nature of our history and society. Restoration Britain too explores the changing nature of society and the roots of some of the racial issues in British history 
  • At A level we chose for our students to focus on the US option. This was because at least a third of the course focuses on minorities in the United States, another third explores society - including gender relations, LGBT elements, Hispanic, Asian and of course African American contexts. These units also explore the ideas of social justice & methods of addressing change.
  • We encourage freedom of choice of A Level NEA topics too - in the past we have had students study changing race relations in the USA in the 19th Century, the legacy of empire on Algeria, amongst other topics that specifically focus on diversity. A Level texts explore and challenge many of the traditional thoughts/ misconceptions - e.g. Marable is one of the leading historians on Civil Rights which we use as a key text
  • Our Great Northern Tour which is offered to Year 10 pupils is designed to be an outstanding opportunity. We visited the Liverpool Slavery Museum, we visited the Grand Mosque in Manchester and the entire focus of that trip is migration to Britain of many culturally diverse groups. Until this year we always operated a trip to Berlin. This trip has now moved into the sixth form. The trip is focussed around 20th Century history and the perils of racism and discrimination.
  • We ensure that, when engaging with sources or historians, we utilise as much postmodern historiography and as balanced perspectives as possible. We are  routinely adding and adapting lessons to be as relevant as possible and are always seeking out opportunities to explore topics that are relevant to our students and the world in which they are growing up. For example, in the past we have led Engage sessions that encourage students to pursue topics that interest them wherever possible within the sometimes frustrating limitations of Department for Education mandated topics. We annually review these through our student voice questionnaires and Inset time.
  • We obviously follow the school behaviour policy fairly but I think it would be fair to say that the history department has a particular passion for challenging any hints of hate. We are genuinely trying to create understanding global students that are growing up in an ever connected world who value cultural diversity. 
  • Below is the History Department intent statement with key elements highlighted.

The Geography Curriculum

The mission statement of the geography department contains the following: 

By studying geography pupils will build an understanding about their place in the world and be encouraged to appreciate the differences beyond their immediate locality and experiences to become curious, confident, and independent thinkers.  Our knowledge rich curriculum encourages pupils to develop a comprehension and understanding of current geographical events, places, and issues, from local to global, and empower our young people to become confident, active, and global members of society. Students take the knowledge and understanding gained from their learning into their future, thinking about their role and choices in an increasingly technological, globalised, and complex society.

The geography department highlights the following as key ways they promote equality, diversity and inclusion:

  • Case studies and named examples studied at all Key Stages cover countries and regions in all continents of the world
  • When teaching about specific countries we discuss key characteristics about the country using a range of data to give students a fact-based view of the world 
  • We look at and explore variations both within and between countries so as not to tell a single story
  • Actively discuss and address potential stereotypes and misconceptions before they arise (or as they occur where appropriate) e.g. Africa is not a country, migrants are “taking our jobs”, everyone in Africa is poor etc
  • UK's place in the wider world e.g. Brexit, Commonwealth, reducing north-south divide
  • Specifically emphasise the net benefits of immigration to countries like the UK
  • Guided reading tasks using specific geographical texts from a wide range of authors to increase students exposure to these and thus their cultural capital
  • Recommend books for wider reading to further develop learning from a wide range of authors