Equality Diversity Inclusion | Epsom College

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Epsom College is about cultivating a sense of belonging for all. This means every member of the community from Governors to staff members and all our pupils and their families. You should feel that your views, experiences and history are valid, no matter your gender, sexual orientation, race, religious belief, disability or socio-economic background.

EDI at Epsom

The College upholds the rights of all protected groups identified in the Equality Act, plus anyone with specific learning difficulties, health issues or impairments, those on the autistic spectrum, anyone with social, emotional or mental health issues, and students who have English as an additional language. For us, proactive and meaningful support includes:

  • Providing appropriate pastoral support for students of protected characteristics.
  • Raising awareness of the effects of prejudice and discrimination, and how this can arise within a school.
  • Reducing hurtful and discriminatory language and behaviour.
  • Adapting the curriculum to raise awareness of people with protected characteristics.
  • Ensuring staff training is of sufficiently high quality to create a truly inclusive culture at the College.
  • Building on strengths that already exist within the College, and being respectful of Epsom’s history, its former pupils and staff.

Student Action

For our work to bring about meaningful change and have a lasting impact for future generations of Epsom pupils, we need to be informed and led by the experiences of our current pupils. And those pupils need to see and feel that ‘pupil voice’ isn’t just a gesture but that it brings about affirmative action.

Students are able to raise concerns individually and anonymously through the various channels outlined in our safeguarding policies and processes; but collectively they have formed a number of societies and are influencing the College’s curriculum, pastoral provision and generating an exciting and intellectually stimulating programme of assemblies, guest lectures and cultural events.

Student Representatives

Each of our 13 Houses has its own EDI Student Rep. They ensure the pupils’ voices are captured and communicated back to the College.

The Reps listen to ideas, experiences and concerns from their Housemates, on issues such as a sense of belonging, festivals, celebrations and other initiatives they would like to see at Epsom. These are then raised with Housemasters and Housemistresses, and the Head of EDI, Miss Jacqueline Austin.

The Reps also meet every half-term as part of the Student Diversity Committee alongside members of the African, Caribbean, Asian & Allies Society (ACAAS) and Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA).

African, Caribbean, Asian & Allies Society

Discussions in ACAAS may revolve around shared experiences, lessons learned, steps that can be taken, follow-up required, advice, and recommendations. They will also look at islamophobia, anti-black and anti-Asian sentiments within the College community and the role that allies can play.

As with the GSA, part of the role of this group is to give a voice to perceptions, stereotypes, unconscious bias and microaggressions that occur within the College. They also scrutinise the curriculum and the activities programme; dynamics within Houses and between pupils and staff; suggest changes and seek positive solutions.

The Society meets weekly in the Common Room Dining Room, at 4.10pm, for anyone in Year 9 or above. We would love for you to become involved.

There is also a junior wing of ACAAS for pupils in the Lower School who want to become actively involved in promoting inclusive behaviour, attitudes and activities among their peers.

Genders & Sexualities Alliance

The Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) focuses on issues specifically around gender, sexuality and non-heteronormative sexuality – parts of all of us that are incredibly important in informing how we identify and express ourselves.

The GSA celebrates the progress made in the College community, and society at large. But it also explores what more can be done to create a supportive, welcoming community for all pupils and staff.

As with ACAAS, the GSA give a voice to perceptions, stereotypes, unconscious bias and microaggressions that occur within the College, and explores the ways in which structures and programmes at Epsom could change for the better.

We debate, discuss, raise issues and address concerns to help shed light on why we experience gender and sexuality in particular ways and how we can ensure it is a positive experience going forwards.