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Books and belonging

This webinar explores relationships between books and belonging across primary and secondary phases of education. In 2021, Penguin Books UK and equality think tank The Runnymede Trust established Lit in Colour to find new ways to give schools the support and tools for introducing more books by people of colour into the classroom and the curriculum. They commissioned research to prompt debate and inform practice in education, finding that few young people encountered books by writers of colour. The research identified associated causes, including limited teaching resources, teacher time, and teachers’ varying confidence for talking about race in the classroom.

This webinar presents discussion of the Lit in Colour report by members of its research team, and perspectives on books and belonging explored through examples of reading experiences in primary schools and secondary schools in rural areas.

Since the 2020 Lit in Colour report, the initiative has contributed many resources for teachers which are increasingly adopted in schools. The webinar offers a timely opportunity to reflect on the experience of using these resources and their impact since publication. We will consider other spaces for addressing representation and belonging in English and education, and look ahead by identifying possible steps towards a more inclusive version of the subject.


17:00 BERA Introduction
17:35 Introduction of events and guests
John Gordon
17:40 Speakers each offer a statement/ perspective

  • Zaahida Nabagereka , Head of Social Impact, Penguin Random House UK & Runnymede Trust
  • Velda Elliott, University of Oxford
  • Roseanne Chantiluke, Editor of Rhodes Must Fall 
  • Sarah Brownsword, University of East Anglia
18:00 Discussion of questions arising from each input
18:20 Respond to questions offered in chat
18:45 Summary, thanks and conclude
19:00 Event Close

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Profile picture of John Gordon
John Gordon, Professor

Professor of Language Arts and Learning at University of East Anglia

I am Reader in English Education at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I am an experienced English teacher educator, and came into teaching as a secondary-phase specialist in English and Media up to A-level. I currently lead a professional...


Profile picture of Sarah Brownsword
Sarah Brownsword, Miss

Lecturer in Education at University of East Anglia

Sarah Brownsword is a lecturer in Primary education at University of East Anglia; she teaches the English and Primary Languages components of the Primary PGCE course and is the course co-director. Sarah is interested in race and diversity in...

Profile picture of Zaahida Nabagereka
Zaahida Nabagereka, Dr

Head of Social Impact at N/A

Dr Zaahida Nabagereka is Head of Social Impact at Penguin Random House UK. She has over 10 year’s experience working at the intersection between education, research and cultural representation. At Penguin Random House UK she has managed the Lit...

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Victoria Elliott, Dr

University of Oxford

Velda Elliott is Associate Professor of English and Literacy Education at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Knowledge in English: Canon, Curriculum & Cultural Literacy (2020) which won the UKLA Academic Book Award 2022. Her work is...

Profile picture of Roseanne Chantiluke
Roseanne Chantiluke, Ms

Independent Researcher at N/A

Roseanne Chantiluke is an Executive Leader, Facilitator and Mentor. But, above all else, she is a researcher whose interests lie in questions around identity, language, storytelling, literature and how these phenomena are nurtured in classrooms....

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Books and belonging

This webinar explores relationships between books and belonging across primary and secondary phases of education. In 2021, Penguin Books UK and equality think tank The Runnymede Trust established...

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