Congratulations to CATS College Canterbury for being awarded ‘Highly Commended’ by the Independent Schools Association for Excellence and Innovation in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The entry focused on the work of our Student Diversity Committee last academic year who raised awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion across the staff and students.
At CATS we teach our students to be open-minded and appreciate their own cultures and personal stories, as well as the traditions and values of others. As an international college hosting students from multiple nationalities, we aim to take purposeful action to maximise the benefit of our context, whilst learning from and with the students in celebrating and challenging our actions related to equality, diversity and inclusion.
Our Student Diversity Committee members have conducted audits of course pages on our VLE, Canvas, and also initiated conversations with their peers and teachers on complex and often uncomfortable topics of racism, exclusion, discrimination, and unconscious bias. An excellent proposal was put forward by the students (and approved), for a new system of baseline testing done at the beginning of the year in all subjects. This asked that the tests include student presentations on scholars from specific subject areas from students’ home countries, evaluating the significance of the contributions of the individual to their field.
In addition, the Diversity Committee members are regularly writing for the Student Bulletin, having their own section on relevant issues to promote diversity and start conversations on issues such as 'Stephen Lawrence Day’, ‘Pink is a girl colour. Or is it?’, 'Ramadan for non-Muslim students’, and debunking myths and stereotypes about various nationalities. They close these articles with challenging questions for us all to ask ourselves, reflect on and take action to do better.
Emma Wilkinson, Vice Principal, said, “We are delighted that, even in a very disrupted year, students persevered and carried on working towards making us a more inclusive college”.