School Consultation

Anti Racism Services for Independent & Grammar Schools

In the wake of the global Black Lives Matter protests, institutions are being asked to review how they move on from a place of non-racist to actively anti-racist, with a demonstratable stance on anti-black racism.
Independent and grammar schools, in particular, have come under public scrutiny in this respect, and the issues highlighted can be attributed to a disproportionate lack of Black staff and students in these spaces.
In response to the series of open letters sent to schools by students and alumni detailing experiences of racism, in June 2020, ACEN members requested that we contact 40+ independent and grammar schools as a collective. To both address issues of racism, and, offer solutions to move towards the creation of actively anti-racist learning environments for students and staff alike. Please click here for a copy of the ACEN letter.
The resulting conversations were predominantly the same with schools sharing the same challenges, misunderstandings and in some cases fears. Most schools rushed to procure unconscious bias training and even at that time, we were aware that it provided to narrow a focus, and would have limited success if delivered in silos, as opposed to being part of a holistic framework.
And perhaps, because of the direct lack of diversity, schools are recognised as being behind the business sector on issues of diversity and inclusion. Because our network naturally consists of professionals, a sizeable number of whom have the professional skills and experience to design and deliver anti-racism services, alongside the lived experience as past students, parents and professionals, we came together to use this real-time information to formulate a series of services and initiatives to help tackle the anti-black racism we continue to see and experience daily.
We have since grown our network to include teachers, including those most senior in the sector, and all our training is informed and on occasion delivered by them.


ACEN unilaterally states that lived experience is an expertise in and of itself and considering issues of structural racism and the ways in which they manifest in society ore widely, anti-black racism services should be procured by Black training providers. We also believe that this should be the same when procuring specialist d&I services for all groups with protected characteristics.



To help schools undertake this work in an achievable and accountable manner, we have created a comprehensive anti-racism framework of services that directly tackle the host of issues as communicated by thousands of students, parents, alumni, and teachers across the country.
The framework is vast and covers everything from curriculum recommendations and policy to lost customer research and governor training. But, we are clear in that there is not a one size fits all approach and the recommendations given must be relevant to each school depending on where they are in their anti-racism journey.
However, measuring the success of those furthest in this journey, we feel that without an audit of each environment and the creation of a specific anti-racism roadmap as a result of that audit, schools run the risk of undertaking work that’s not orderly, impactful, permanent or recognised as relevant by their minority stakeholders.
Please see our full-service brochure here.



If you are a school that would like to discuss these services, or an ACEN member that would like us to raise awareness of our services with your school please send an email to:
Independent schools:
Grammar schools: