Measuring the effectiveness of racial equity initiatives with Gordonstoun School
As one of the UK's leading independent schools, it is of the utmost importance to Gordonstoun that every student feels safe, supported and secure at school.
One of the fundamental aims at Gordonstoun is to give students a global perspective. It starts when they join a culturally diverse community of students from over forty nationalities. As a private school that welcomes children from all parts of the world, Gordonstoun knows that developing tolerance, understanding and compassion are essential parts of living in a happy, vibrant and caring multicultural society.
In order to help every child achieve their full potential, Gordonstoun partnered with FLAIR to measure the effectiveness of their current racial equity strategy and understand where they could improve. FLAIR enabled them to accurately assess what to prioritise to ensure their resources and efforts were effectively prioritised to have the biggest impact.
Gordonstoun were already advanced in their racial equity strategy. To ensure they nurtured a diverse community of students and a culture of belonging, they already had numerous initiatives and programs in place to support students and staff.
However, whilst Gordonstoun already had a clear strategy in place, they faced challenges in understanding the effectiveness of initiatives and tangibly measuring progress towards racial equity. Without the correct data in place to benchmark their progress, they were unable to effectively prioritise where to target or identify where the gaps in their existing strategy may be.
FLAIR was selected to help the school benchmark performance and lay the right foundations to measure and progress racial equity. Using FLAIR’s analytics engine, Gordonstoun were able to harness data to understand their progress year-on-year and effectively prioritise budget and time to optimise results and ultimately improve the student experience.
"We believe that no matter how much you achieve, there is always more that can be done. FLAIR gave us the opportunity to really investigate where those improvements can be made and target specifics."
Jack Hoskins, Housemaster and EDI Lead, Gordonstoun School
The first step was to gather data using an anonymous survey. Using FLAIR’s science-backed surveys, Gordonstoun were able to open up the conversation on race and ethnicity across all staff and students. FLAIR worked closely with Gordonstoun throughout the survey rollout, with expert guidance and stakeholder communication materials, to ensure survey response rates were optimal to paint a clear picture of the student and staff experience.
The data was organised under 4 key pillars:
Racial diversity: how racially diverse the staff base and student population were.
Racial-inclusion barriers: whether race was a barrier to feeling included within the school.
Racial awareness: how staff and students were likely to respond if witnessing different types of racism.
Racist behaviours: how frequently different forms of racism were being witnessed and experienced.
This data was then used to map the culture at Gordonstoun on FLAIR’s smart dashboard, instantly enabling the leadership team to visualise their strengths and weaknesses, and critically benchmark their progress. The survey is then repeated annually to track clear progress made year on year and measure the effectiveness of their racial equity initiatives.
FLAIR’s applied AI to turn Gordonstoun's data into a clear roadmap to positive change, with straightforward recommendations for targeted action to ensure they allocated their resources with ROI in mind. The FLAIR team continued to support Gordonstoun on a quarterly basis to ensure they were able to effectively progress towards meeting their annual racial equity goals.
Using FLAIR’s data insights, Gordonstoun were able to pave the way forward for racial equity with clear next steps. For example, based on FLAIR’s strategic recommendations, Gordonstoun were able to quickly action the following targeted initiatives:
Introduce two new prefect roles: Captain of EDI and Captain of Racial Equality.
Establish a network of students whose voices will help to lead change.
Revamp the displays across all curricular areas to show greater diversity, particularly with regard to role models.
Instigate a curriculum audit across all subject areas.
Launch a PSHE curriculum to create focused lessons on Anti-Racism.
The response from staff, students and parents have been positive and Gordonstoun are currently using the results with their student group as a stimulus for open discussion on race and ethnicity.
Gordonstoun were given clear direction on where to best focus their time and resources to advance racial equity.
A smart dashboard to easily visualise areas of strength and drill down into areas to target for improvement.
Benchmark data to visualise progress year-on-year to effectively measure their progress towards racial equity.
Staff and students across the school community were given a safe platform to voice their experiences.