ESMS Diversity and Equality Task Force Update

Posted on 29th Oct 2020 in Community, ESMS

ESMS has set up a new Task Force to drive forward its diversity and equality reforms. Last term we consulted with the ESMS community on proposed changes to make the School more inclusive and help us champion diversity.

The feedback we received was used to develop the first stage of priorities for this year and we have set up a Task Force to help us take these changes forward.  Kirsty Nicholson, Head of MES, will Chair the group. It will be overseen by the Principal, Linda Moule and our independent partner Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC).  The initial focus will be on making changes that relate to race and cultural diversity, as this theme featured most prominently in our consultation responses.

The Task Force is made up of staff, parents and pupils. It will be supported by separate pupil, parent and staff working groups. Each working group will reach out to the people they represent within our School community, to ensure all voices are heard. Professor Sir Geoff Palmer OBE, has kindly agreed to contribute to the review of our curriculum. His expansive knowledge in this area will be invaluable as we review our approach to the teaching of important subjects such as British colonial history.

The Task Force will meet quarterly with a first meeting on 6 November. Updates will be circulated regularly to keep our community informed of the changes we are delivering.

Linda Moule, Principal, Erskine Stewart’s Melville School, said: 

“I am delighted that this critical programme of work is now fully underway.  Over the last year Kirsty Nicholson has introduced a range of changes to improve diversity at The Mary Erskine School, culminating in our Youth Scotland LGBT Award.  Her passion and vision for inclusion make her an excellent choice as Chair and together with the support of the rest of the Senior Management Team I am confident that ESMS will make great strides over the next few months towards a more inclusive school culture that champions diversity.”

Kirsty Nicholson, Head of The Mary Erskine School and Chair of The Diversity and Equality Task Force, said:

“Our Diversity and Equality Programme is one of the most important pieces of work the School has undertaken and I am honoured to be chairing this new Task Force. By engaging and listening widely within our community and looking outwith ESMS for best practice, the work we do will make a difference. That pupils will play an important role in the development of this work is vital, so that we can be sure that the decisions we make will deliver long term meaningful change."

Buki Oluwabukola, MES pupil and member of the Equality and Diversity Task Force, said:

“The Diversity and Equality Programme will be an essential first step in creating sustainable change. The work of the Task Forces, will go a long way towards creating a more accepting and comfortable environment for the Ethnic Minority students at ESMS.”



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