Break the Cycle Conference 7 November 2020

What we cannot imagine cannot come into being

Thank you everyone who joined us for the third Break The Cycle conference, ‘Eradicating racism and white supremacy in education and society’.  You can find videos of the key speakers, Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol and Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health Regional Director for London as well as useful resources below.



Keynote speakers

Marvin Rees

Marvin Rees is the Mayor of Bristol, the first elected mayor of black African heritage in Europe. He was propelled into the global news  when, in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the statue of Edward Colston was thrown into Bristol harbour.

Kevin Fenton

Prof. Fenton is Public Health Regional Director for London. Whilst training in medicine at the University of West Indies, Kevin began to contemplate a commitment to public health – one which has led to him playing a pivotal role in shaping public health in the United Kingdom.

Resources from 7 November 2020 conference

Key speaker: Marvin Rees Mayor of BristolNovember 10, 2020See video
Key Speaker: Prof. Kevin Fenton, Director of Public Health. LondonNovember 10, 2020See video
Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond, strategic consultant, Transforming teacher trainingNovember 10, 2020See video
Mandy Coalter, Recruiting and retaining teachers from BAME backgroundsNovember 10, 2020See video
Dwain Brandy, How to tackle racism in schoolsNovember 10, 2020See video
Question and Answer sessionNovember 10, 2020See video
'Tired' a dance poem by Analeise AugustNovember 7, 2020See video
Dwain Brandy, Plan of Best Practice for schoolsNovember 5, 2020See download
Dwain Brandy's blog 'Leading Equality'November 7, 2020Go to website
Dr Beckles-Raymond, Towards Transformational ITTNovember 5, 2020See download
Joy Madeiros and Dr David Bailey, Change ITT response to Dr Beckles-Raymond's paperNovember 5, 2020See download
Mandy Coalter, Making Schools Great Places to WorkNovember 7, 2020See download
Mandy Coalter, Talent ArchitectsNovember 7, 2020Go to website
Famous ScientistsNovember 7, 2020See Powerpoint
Famous Female ScientistsNovember 7, 2020See Powerpoint
Famous World ScientistsNovember 7, 2020See Powerpoint
Famous BAME ScientistsNovember 7, 2020See Powerpoint
Famous Salford ScientistsNovember 7, 2020See Powerpoint

Resources from 18 July 2020 conference

Use the links below for further information and resources.

Break the Cycle ManifestoOctober 26, 2020See download
How to set up a local action planOctober 26, 2020See download
Break The Cycle logo and descriptorOctober 26, 2020See download
Steve Chalke’s article: ‘How a Racist Education Produces a Racist Culture’ in the Times Educational SupplementJuly 18, 2020View the website
Tessy Ojo, CEO Diana Awards, My StoryJuly 18, 2020See video
Dwain Brandy, De-colonising the CurriculumJuly 18, 2020See video
Lord Michael Hastings, I Can't BreatheJuly 18, 2020See video
Prof. Robert Beckford, How a Racist Education Produces a Racist CultureJuly 18, 2020See video

Speaker bios

Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond – Gabriella works as a strategic consultant, is the co-founder of the Black Thought Collective and co-convenor of the African Diaspora post-graduate network at Birkbeck University.

Mandy Coalter has recently founded Talent Architects, having previously served as Director of People at United Learning – one of the largest school groups in the UK – where she was responsible for HR, Talent Management, Leadership Development and Marketing and Communications.

Dwain Brandy is the Equality, Diversity and Behaviour Lead at Oasis Academy MediaCityUK in Salford. He is involved in both the development of local as well as national policy and practice around race equality and diversity in education.

Our objectives

In 2019 Oasis convened Break the Cycle, a national grassroots movement committed to promoting Black, Asian and minority ethnic leadership across education and youth work in the UK.

The Break the Cycle Manifesto is an action plan for all schools and their communities as we work to challenge and change the cultures that hold back the next generation of BAME leadership.

The numbers speak for themselves

What we cannot imagine cannot come into being, says feminist author bell hooks. Which is why Break The Cycle is working hard to ensure BAME students have appropriate role models at school.
% of BAME pupils in UK schools
% of BAME teachers in UK schools
No. of BAME head teachers/principals

Under-representation of BAME leaders

The current massive under-representation of BAME leaders within children and young people’s work  – especially at senior levels – fails all our children and teachers as well as our whole society. This must change in order to:

  • Tackle racism in and beyond our schools
  • Encourage BAME students to aspire to the highest levels of leadership
  • Address the unconscious bias that ‘leadership is white’

The Break the Cycle movement is supported by a Manifesto and an Action Plan for local communities. These are designed to help individual schools and our ‘local task groups’ challenge and change the cultures that hold back the next generation of BAME leadership.

Change is already underway

The Break the Cycle Manifesto produced by the 2019 conference is an action plan for all schools – primary and secondary – committed to challenging and changing the cultures and systems that hold back the next generation of BAME leadership.

Since the first Break the Cycle conference in 2019, local groups have been meeting in schools, tackling conscious and unconscious race inequality in school infrastructures and practices – from recruitment to leadership training.

Within Oasis, progress is being made thanks in part to the impact of Break the Cycle. In the last twelve months, five African, Caribbean and Asian leaders have been appointed to principal, associate principal, and deputy principal positions. The proportion of BAME participants on Oasis’s annual National Professional Qualification for Headteachers course has increased by thirty-six percentage points.