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Ambition’s renewed commitments to equality, diversity and inclusion

Sept. 27, 2023

Each year, education sector organisations sign a joint public statement to demonstrate their commitment to furthering equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in schools.

Ambition Institute is one of 14 organisations to take part in this year’s statement, which is led by the NAHT school leadership union.

Here, we share the work we have done in 2022/23 and set out our EDI commitments for the coming academic year.

Hilary Spencer, chief executive at Ambition Institute, said: “At Ambition, we are deeply committed to taking action that will strengthen equality, diversity, and inclusion in the education workforce, for the pupils they teach, and in our own organisation.  Our mission is to tackle educational disadvantage, and we believe that every child deserves access to a great education, regardless of their background or circumstances.

“In the past year, we have continued to focus on taking a proactive and evidence-led approach to our EDI work.  We were pleased that this progress was recognised in our recent Ofsted inspection, which reported that ‘Equality sits at the heart of Ambition Institute’. However, we are not complacent, and we know there is still more to do.”

In the past academic year, Ambition has: 

  • Set up a new working group for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion to further embed EDI in our thinking, training, and curriculum documents.
  • Created and embedded new equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging policies within our programmes, across content, curricula, facilitation, and recruitment, including in the development of our new Initial Teacher Training programme.
  • Carried out analysis on our participant data to better understand and improve diversity on our programmes.
  • Improved our application process and set new diversity targets for our programmes, to promote inclusivity, make our participant recruitment as fair as possible, and help to eradicate unconscious bias.
  • Supported the sector on improving SEND provision in schools, through delivering a series of roundtables in partnership with the Confederation of School Trusts, publishing a series of blogs and articles, and delivering several talks relating to SEND at sector events.
  • Collated and analysed new demographic and diversity data across our workforce, to inform future recruitment.
  • Implemented new EDI training, including mandatory sessions for new staff as part of our induction process, so that all staff have the skills and knowledge needed to help us tackle inequality.
  • Expanded the work of our staff support groups through new initiatives, each designed to share experiences and raise awareness of issues. Some of the most recent include: a series of “What’s my norm” blogs by our Racial Equality Network, a series of talks and articles on maternal mental health by our Mental Health Network, and a buddy system for parents returning from parental leave facilitated by our Parent’s Network.
  • Bringing together representatives from across the organisation for an EDI away day, to map out Ambition’s upcoming EDI work and set objectives for our staff networks.

Over the course of 2023-2024 we commit to:

  • Collaborating across the sector to highlight and share best practice and further knowledge.
  • Working with organisations that are specifically focussed on improving racial equality in the education sector.
  • Continuing to develop our Initial Teacher Training programme ahead of its launch, with diversity and inclusion at the core of recruitment and application processes and within its programme design, to attract a diverse range of participants.
  • Focusing on accessibility and inclusivity, keeping it at the heart of all our outputs, including communications, events, programme design and materials.
  • Reviewing our eligibility criteria for our programmes, to ensure people from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • Empowering our support and affinity networks to ensure that Ambition Institute is genuinely inclusive for our staff.
  • Expanding our evidence base and utilising our data and insights to understand and tackle disadvantage both across the education sector and within Ambition Institute.  

Read the full statement here.