Diversity officer leaves Norwich School after less than a year
- Credit: Denise Bradley
A leading Norfolk private school where pupils raised allegations of widespread racist abuse is seeking to replace a member of staff overseeing diversity after less than a year.
The Norwich School appointed an equality, diversity and inclusion officer last September as part of its response to former and current students reporting a string of racist incidents.
More than 250 people also signed a letter urging action against “everyday racism” prompting the school to promise training for staff and senior pupils against prejudice, changes to the curriculum and recruiting a diversity officer.
Less than a year after creating the role the school is now seeking a replacement with the person hired to oversee improvements set to leave.
Headmaster Steffan Griffiths said: “We have had someone in the post for this academic year who is a person of faith but who has decided to leave to pursue an interest in the church, which we understand.
“We are very pleased with how that person improved us as a community, it showed the value of the role.
“Some important interaction we held with pupils and staff and with parents.
“We are looking forward to finding a successor to carry on the good work that she initiated.”
The school says it is seeking an “inspiring individual” with a track record in “making a culture of inclusion a reality and have a solid awareness and understanding of equality issues”.
A total of 37 former and current pupils last year came forward to detail alleged racist abuse between 2010 to 2020 that included a black pupil being told to “go die on a plantation” and others being told to “go back” to where they came from.
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One ex-teacher also shared their experience, claiming a group of pupils who were “well-known” for their racist views were tolerated.
Mr Griffiths said the outgoing diversity officer had been involved in group meetings, tutorials, lessons and assemblies and had carried out a survey of attitudes.
“Having someone who is focussed on that role and those issues has been really useful,” he said.
“We’re embarking on this path with humility and keen to establish positive cultures and practices and this role is helping us do that in all parts of the community, pupils, parents and staff.”