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Webinar: Bringing about change in the education system – what’s next


Each child in Britain deserves to experience dignity, belonging and joy in education. But Black children have historically been denied this right.

  • Research commissioned for BEO highlighted that 50% of parents with children under 18 said their children do not see themselves represented in either the teaching workforce or curriculum materials used [1]
  • In 2020, the largest exam board in the country did not include any books by a Black author among set texts for its GCSE English literature syllabus [2]
  • We also know that just over 1% of secondary school teachers come from Black African or Black Caribbean backgrounds. Only 0.7% of headteachers identify as Black Caribbean and 0.2% of headteachers identify as Black African [3]
  • Under-representation in the workforce has a significant impact on the amount of representation that Black people, culture or heritage has in the curriculum. Being taught Black History for one month a year is not good enough and limits wider learning for all including non-Black students [4]
  • 95% of young Black people have heard and witnessed racism at school. 49% of young Black people feel racism is the biggest barrier to attaining success in school, while 50% say the biggest barrier is teachers’ perceptions of them – for example, being seen as ‘too aggressive’ and ‘unintelligent [5]
  • One third of Black children had been permanently or temporarily excluded from school vs 10% of White children. [6]

There is no single answer or solution that can explain the disparity or reduce the gaps, but what are the solutions? Join the Black Equity Organisation, and panellists from the education sector as they discuss what could be done to ensure that Black learners can achieve their potential and feel they are seen and heard in a system that currently under-values them.

Who is it for?

This webinar is open to all. Come along if you are interested to hear what others are doing to break down barriers.




This is a discussion hosted by Marcus Ryder MBE and will be attended by BEO Chair Dame Vivan Hunt BEO and BEO Trustee Athian Alec to listen to our panelists.

Marcus Ryder MBE, is the co-founder of the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity which was set up to explore and increase diversity across the media industry, including journalism, acting, film, TV and radio. He has over 25 years working in the media across the world, including eight years as a senior executive at the BBC, winning numerous industry awards – from BAFTAs to Royal Television Society Awards and Foreign Press Association Awards. He is also the Chair of Council for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Dame Vivian Hunt DBE, BEO Chair, former senior partner for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in the United Kingdom and Ireland and Chair of the charity Teach First. An alumna of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Dame Vivian has been named as one of the ten most influential Black people in Britain by the Powerlist Foundation and one of the thirty most influential people in the City of London by The Financial Times.

Athian Akec is a young historian, writer and speaker. Former board member youth charity and commission in Camden and a special advisor to a Parliamentary inquiry into the teaching of Black history in British schools. His main areas of focus are climate change, youth violence and racial inequality. He’s written for the Guardian, Independent, Huffpost, Huck magazine and other national newspapers. He’s been profiled by The Times and was a cover star for i-D magazine’s 40th anniversary up and rising profile of Black activists, writers, photographers and actors. In 2021 Athian was published by Penguin as a part of the “Black Joy ” collection with an essay on the Black British cultural renaissance.

Chantelle Haughton is a principal lecturer in primary education and early years, a National Teaching Fellow, a Senior HEA Fellow, and a Forest School Leader and Trainer. She was Chair of Black History Wales 365 from 2020 to 2022, is Vice Chair for BAME Ed Network Wales, Vice Chair for the Early Years Network Wales, Deputy Chair for the Advance HE Race Equality Working Group at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Chair for Welsh Government Steering Group for Anti-Racist Action Planning for Early Years, Childcare and Play. External Examiner in two UK HEIs in and an External Moderator internationally. Chantelle is project Director at DARPL. Chantelle’s own diverse heritage and family mix, with lived and professional experience contribute to her sincere, robust knowledge and care for driving forward current and developing national policy and practice.

Nana Marfo is a disability advocate who speaks on the issues faced by disabled people within the labour market and in general society, from education, health care to social housing. A freelance writer for the independent newspaper and The Metro, speaking on disabled people being seen and heard. Nana’s fight for a voice and presence stems from his experience as a disabled boy growing up with a permanent tracheostomy tube that enables him to breathe and talk. Nana began his advocacy work in 2016 when he experienced personal exclusion within his career as a public sector worker due to his race and disability. Unique Abilities Ltd was formed to give disabled people a voice.

Patricia Lamour MBE is a global educator, entrepreneur, public speaker and women’s leadership champion. She is the co-founder and CEO of Aspire Education Group (ASPIRE), a network of global educational and workforce development specialists and policy advisers. Patricia has advised Corporates, Foundations and Governments and draws on her experience of teaching and leading at tertiary and secondary levels in the UK, Germany and West Africa. A former Headteacher of a Cambridge University International Education school and adviser to Ofqual. Patricia has provided expert evidence to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Parliamentary Education Select Committee on the Impact of Covid-19 on the Education of Disadvantaged Groups.

Chantelle Lunt is a writer, public speaker, entrepreneur, and activist. An advocate for racial equality, having experienced racism throughout her life, particularly during her service as a police officer. She is the founder of Merseyside BLM Alliance (MBLMA), a group which she established at a time when BLM was moving out of the news cycle. Merseyside BLM Alliance has become one of the most proactive anti-racist groups in Merseyside. Chantelle chairs MBLMA’s sister group ‘Merseyside Alliance for Racial Equality’, a non-profit organisation committed to ensuring that Black people are not discriminated against and have their needs responded to at a community level.

This webinar will be supported by captioning as well as British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters.


  1. Systemic change required, Black lived reality: why we need systemic change, BEO, September 2022
  2. Missing Pages, Teach First, 2020
  3. School Teacher Workforce, Department for Education, February 2021
  4. Brick Wall After Brick Wall research, BEO, September 2022
  5. The Young Black experience of institutional racism in the UK, YMCA, October 2020
  6. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)