Placing our Quaker values at the heart of our approach – Leighton Park School
02 Jul 2021
Leighton Park is delighted to announce the appointment of Shaun Dellenty as our Diversity and Inclusion Officer, after a rigorous selection process that involved student panels and interviews with senior staff. Although common in business and government organisations, such a role is rare in independent schools. True to our Quaker heritage, Leighton Park is keen to be a pioneer in this area and embrace our commitment to Achievement with Values, Character and Community.
As a leading values-led school, we want all members of our community to develop a strong appreciation for difference and equality, regardless of the subjects they choose to study. We see this as an important enabler to achieve our aim of forming young people of real character and confidence, with a determined desire to change the world.
Shaun brings a wealth of experience to the role, along with a national profile for leading diversity and inclusion initiatives in schools – having personally trained more than 90,000 teachers. Among other accolades, Shaun has been recognised with the following awards and memberships:
- Top Twenty Diversity Champions in Public Life – Global Diversity List 2020
- Point of Light designation from the UK Prime Minister for services to education and anti-bullying
- Freedom of the City of London for services to diversity and inclusion
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Matthew, Head of Leighton Park, commented:
“This is a particularly important initiative for Leighton Park. It is true to our Quaker foundation, seeking to promote values of respect and equality as part of who we are as a Community. I am really excited to have someone of Shaun’s international calibre joining the School to lead this important work.”
Shaun described his excitement at joining the Leighton Park community:
“I am thrilled to be joining Leighton Park. Quaker values of respect, peace, equality and community (and the importance Leighton Park places upon values and character) very much align with my aspiration to nurture learning communities in which every diverse individual can be welcomed, celebrated and empowered to achieve their best, whilst making a meaningful and positive contribution to school life and wider society. I’m deeply grateful to the students who so inspired me at interview, and I look forward to meeting, listening and engaging with the whole school community as we undertake the shared journey ahead.”
The Diversity and Inclusion Officer will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the values of equality permeate everything we do at Leighton Park. A Quaker approach to education believes in the inherent worth of each individual, recognising that each child has unique talents. This role will support the School to further strive for these ideals, and will involve assessing and advising on aspects such as the curriculum that we teach, the way that we recruit our staff and the support that we provide to students to empower them to be free-thinking with a clear, confident self-awareness.
Our values-led approach to education provides students with the skills they need for a fast-changing world. This focus on diversity and inclusion will support our students to be effective in diverse and globally interconnected workplaces, as well as further develop our support for students to foster strong leadership behaviours, such as developing high performing teams and inclusive decision making. At its most fundamental, we want our students to really know themselves, to explore and develop their talents in a safe and supportive space, enabling them not only to succeed – but to succeed as themselves.