Dismantling inequalities & instilling anti-racism in Welsh education

Design Research
Equity by Design

Client : Welsh Government

The challenge

Using an equity-centred design approach in public research

As part of its action plan to achieve Wales’ anti-racist ambition, the Welsh Government asked DK&A to work with learners and staff in further education to both understand the extent of and impacts of racism, and identify policy and systemic interventions to foster and maintain anti-racist environments.

The research project took place following the launch of the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan in 2022, which set out the Welsh Government’s commitment to creating a more inclusive society for all. Included in the plan are co-produced actions to be taken over the next five years to address racism, tackle hate crime and promote diversity and inclusion in public life. A key goal set out in the plan is to dismantle inequalities in education.

The approach

Using ethnographic research & building partnerships across the sector

The Welsh Government’s Anti-racist Further Education Steering Group, which is comprised of members of FE institutions, stakeholders and experts, had oversight over the project, shaping the objectives and approach. The DK&A research team worked closely with charity Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support Team Wales (EYST), who helped to define the approach and carry out the fieldwork.

The research

Working with staff & students across Wales to understand the problem

A nationwide call-out for participants was made to staff and learners in further education, apprenticeships, and adult learning. Researchers worked with a small, representative sample of staff and learners, conducting in-depth interviews.

The opportunities

Implementable solutions to help create an anti-racist education system

Through a process of mapping and analysis, the DK&A-EYST research team arrived at 6 high-level opportunities for intervention:

Through the input of experts in Anti-racism and further education leadership, actions were developed against each of these opportunities. Across each area, actions ranged from those achievable locally in the short-term to wider policy actions.

The impact

  • Understanding

    The research report (which you can read here) presented a comprehensive picture of the extent and impacts of racism across the further education sector.

  • Inclusive engagement

    The lived experience of staff and learners, beyond the data story, shaped the findings.

  • Action

    26 practical actions identified to act on racism in further education, which are now being developed at local and national levels.

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