April 2021

Having started our inclusion journey in Autumn 2019, identifying in a whole organisation workshop that we weren’t acting out our core value of ‘local’ in the way we all wanted to, our Inclusion Committee mobilised an independent audit to enable us to better understand the inequity within our organisational culture, recruitment processes and working practices, and how to improve on it.

In summer 2020, that audit found that while we are all committed through our work with children and families to acting against the deep-rooted social injustice and systemic racism that exists in our society, there is much more we can do in practice to drive change, both in the delivery of our work in our community and within our organisation itself. As we said in our first statement last May, we know that feeling and talking is only the beginning, and action is what is really needed.

We have since worked on an overall strategy and action plan, with ways of gathering data and insights to track our progress so that we can ensure we hold ourselves accountable and are following through on our commitment to change. We aim to:

(i) develop an inclusive employee experience;

(ii) align inclusive behaviour and practice with our values in all that we do so as to achieve our mission in our community;

(iii) demonstrate accountability to inclusion through leadership.

What does that mean in terms of action?

(i) we are refining our entire employee journey from recruitment through to exit interview with a focus on how we behave and communicate with one another both internally and externally.

(ii) our Inclusion Committee has developed a detailed plan of activities for the next 2 years to proactively promote and embed inclusion across all of our work. These activities are reviewed by the committee on a regular basis and we will solicit feedback on our performance from our wider stakeholder group, recognising that we need to improve on the ways we take feedback and how we act on it. Some examples of activities in the delivery team, developed through a number of working group meetings are:

  • Sharing learning on inclusive practice with our delivery partners;
  • Advocating for and modelling inclusion in the way we communicate in schools, with families and colleagues;
  • Creating a library of inclusive engagement resources for our Link Workers that enable them to have supportive conversations with children and young people and their parents or carers whatever their own experience and background.

(iii) all staff are encouraged to be leaders in inclusive practice, underpinned by our values, and we are working on improving our policies, processes, training/development, meetings and events to improve awareness and understanding, and to mobilise the behaviour we all want to see.

This action is just a start. We still have a long way to go on our inclusion journey to be where we want to be. We believe that everyone should have access to the opportunities they need to achieve their goals in life and we are committed to ensuring all of our practice and our behaviour reflects the inclusivity and fairness we wish to see in our community, and globally.

We welcome open discussion and feedback from all of our staff, stakeholders, partners and families on the action we are taking and further ways in which we can improve so that we can create positive and meaningful changes through our work with children and families.