Diversity & Equality

Diversity, equality and inclusion - statement and actions

These pages on our website are intended to provide a visible and public platform for communicating with all of our stakeholders on the actions we are taking to promote diversity, equality and inclusion at the School. We will provide regular and comprehensive updates on our progress and have included a feedback email address to ensure that all messages, whether of criticism, advice or support will be heard by the School’s leadership and governance team.

We welcome your feedback which will help us to stay accountable to our community as we look to make effective and long-term change. Please email actionplan@royaldrawingschool.org

UPDATE 12/05/2022

The Royal Drawing School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion audit led by the external consultants Blueprint for All (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Trust) was completed over several months in 2021, looking at all areas of the School. This fed into the drafting of the School’s EDI Action Plan along with consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and Blueprint for All. As one of the action points a commitment was made to establish the RDS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Council of which the Board of Trustees appointed Fope Adelowo and Prof Eileen Hogan as co-Chairs.

The EDI Action Plan is a live working document that has been approved by Trustees and will undergo regular review at departmental level and be cross referenced for progress by the EDI Council.

The EDI Council will champion equality, diversity and inclusion at the Royal Drawing School, promoting an inclusive culture, a supportive and diverse community, and provide a safe, welcoming and open forum for matters around EDI to be discussed and addressed. An advisory Board that reports to the Board of Trustees, the aim of the Council is to assist School management and Trustees in ensuring the School’s EDI policies and Action Plan are relevant, appropriate, and effective. 

Membership on the Council includes representatives from all stakeholder groups including Trustees, Staff, Faculty, YA Faculty and Students, as well as membership from an external body, Blueprint for All, to provide external and professional guidance. The Council met for the first time on 5 May 2022.

UPDATE 16/02/2021

New appointments have been made to the board of Trustees in line with our Governance procedures, nominations were approved in December 2020 and January 2021 respectively. The School has actively sought to broaden our diversity in our governance structures and this process will continue when further nominations are made at the next nominations committee in 2021. See here for the full list of trustees.

UPDATE 16/12/2020

New appointments have been made to the External Assessment Board, the Drawing Year Selection Panel and the Academic Board as the School works actively to broaden diversity within our governance structures. According to our governance procedures, nominations for our board of Trustees were put forward in the September 2020 Nominations Committee meeting. In line with our annual calendar for new appointments and board retirements, appointments will be approved at the Trustees meeting on 27 January 2021 and subsequently made public. This will be part of an ongoing process as board members’ terms of service come to an end and new members are appointed.

Our audit with the Stephen Lawrence Trust is scheduled for January 2021, at which point we will further understand the areas in which we need to improve and formulate and implement strategies in order to do so. In the meantime we will continue with our ongoing work to improve the diversity and inclusion across our organisation, which includes diversifying our faculty and invitations to visiting artist, increasing the accessibility of our website and broadening our curriculum and lecture series.

UPDATE 27/08/2020: 

We are delighted to be working with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to help us formulate, implement, monitor and communicate our action plan on diversity, equality and inclusion. Our work with the Trust will include the following areas of review and action (this list is not exhaustive): 

  • Bringing greater diversity to the School’s teaching and learning
  • Enfranchising the views of all of the School’s stakeholders in promoting diversity, equality and inclusion
  • Strategic targeting of our charitable resources to help overcome barriers for BAME students who want to learn to draw with us
  • Implementing a training programme focused on unconscious bias and broader issues of diversity
  • Setting KPI’s to guide, monitor and communicate the School’s progress in implementing its action plan

UPDATE 23/06/2020

The School is taking two further steps to lay a new foundation for its work to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.

  • By 31st August 2020 we will recruit a specialist external consultant to help us formulate, implement, monitor and communicate an action plan on diversity, equality and inclusion. 
  • By the end of 2020 we will have broadened the diversity of the School’s board of trustees.