Educational Equity

What does Educational Equity mean to us in Surrey?

How can SAfE support you as leaders and practitioners to serve every child in your school?

A constant motivation for working with young people is that education makes a difference to life chances. However, we work in a wider system where inequality seems baked into the structures.

Serving the needs of every child.

Whilst most of our children and young people in Surrey achieve, thrive, belong and live well because of our great schools, this is not the case for all. If we get it ‘so right’ for so many young people, how can we be getting it ‘so wrong’ for a few?

We need to refocus and have the insight that we can do better, not because we are not good enough, but because the effectiveness of our schools is best measured by how our under served pupils perform.

We often operate in a context of challenges over which schools have limited agency, but we can focus on what we can control and look to our own work for opportunities to do this.

Schools matter. Great teaching matters.

Under the strategic leadership of the headteacher each of us must focus on getting it right for every learner in every classroom, every day, steering away from any unconscious bias we might have and the narrative that success in tackling inequity lies outside of the classroom, or is not our responsibility. We know from evidence that three key things matter and we must keep our focus on these.

Making a difference in Surrey schools.

There is a great deal of good practice in our schools and many are making a difference and bucking the trend:

  • Secondaries that have been on the Marc Rowland programme where the disadvantaged gap is narrowing

  • Primaries where a nurture approach is helping children with SEMH thrive

  • Special schools providing innovative curriculum for some of more vulnerable children

  • Schools where LGBTQ+ students thrive and belong

Inequity in education isn’t new but we need a renewed focus to challenge it as we move through this decade. So while we must continue to be ambitious for all our children and young people, we must also ‘level the playing field’ in our schools and classrooms by targeting and supporting those who need it most and work to remove the barriers to inclusivity.

Committing to supporting Schools make a difference.

At SAfE we are committed to placing Educational Equity at the heart of all our work and will work to continue to provide support for schools through our meetings with you, our professional learning, resources and case studies of good practice. We will share further updates to the Educational Equity programme as we develop an online ‘toolkit’ this term.

Through a joined up local offer we can ensure that every Surrey school has the same ambition for all its pupils. We will continue to develop this webpage as we build a toolkit of SAfE support, advice and guidance for schools and school leaders.

Here are some key resources and opportunities to support you in your work:

‘Active Ingredients for Tackling Disadvantage’

Listen to the latest podcast from Marc Rowland (Unity Research School) where Marc shares with us his insights into the keys of success to changing culture, values and expectations to address disadvantage.

SAfE and Diverse Educators

SAfE and Diverse Educators invite you to join our programme of training for schools. We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Diverse Educators, a training organisation founded by Bennie Kara and Hannah Wilson. Diverse Educators  is committed to moving the agenda forwards regarding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our school system with a vision that aligns with SAfE’s and our commitment to  Educational Equity.

Find out more here

SAfE Supporting Continuous Improvement for Inclusion

The SAfE and Surrey Inclusion Framework provides a platform for all schools to access in order to evaluate and identify how further developments in inclusive practices can be facilitated. The Supporting Continuous Improvement for Inclusion adopts the following model, providing schools with access to SAfE’s online self-evaluation tools, hosted on the Evaluate My School (EMS) platform.

      • Self-evaluation : Discussions and reflections on practices, rating each of the none dimensions of inclusion.
      • Action Planning : Identifying a few key areas to further develop their inclusive practices. Working with staff to identify strategies and approaches to help meet targets.
      • Quad working : Opportunities to meet with colleagues from matched schools to discuss plans, explore ways forward and positively challenge one another to consider a range of strategies to further develop inclusion.
      • Coaching : Developing and embedding coaching approaches will help support sustainable improvements in inclusion across Surrey

To find out more about the SCII project or to get a login for the Surrey Inclusion Framework please contact:

Take a look at the brilliant new ai-in-education website for support and resources.

The Limit Less campaign

The Limit Less campaign (led by the Institute for Physics and the NGA) is calling for every school in the UK and Ireland to become truly inclusive – by taking a whole-school approach to equity. This involves the entire school community working together to create a plan to dismantle the barriers students face. Their website provides resources for a whole-school approach to equity and inclusion.

Take a look at the resources and in particular their very short but powerful animation.  

EEF Podcast Nov 23 – Defining Disadvantage

Access the latest EEF Evidence into Action podcast, focusing on defining disadvantage.

New EEF podcast: Defining disadvantage | EEF (

Through a joined up local offer we can ensure that every Surrey school has the same ambition, for every pupil.