Lit in Colour: pioneer with us in diversifying the English Literature curriculum

10 February 2021

Find out about our new partnership with Penguin Random House UK and race equality thinktank, The Runnymede Trust, to support UK schools in diversifying their English Literature curriculum.

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We’re excited to announce the launch of our new partnership with Penguin Random House UK and race equality thinktank, The Runnymede Trust, to support UK schools in diversifying their English Literature curriculum. As the UK's largest awarding body, Pearson will work with Penguin and 100 schools initially to offer extensive guidance and resources for teaching GCSE and A Level English Literature set texts by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers in the new academic year.

Share your thoughts on diversity in the English curriculum

We are keen to better understand some of the barriers to teaching a more diverse English curriculum, and potential solutions. As part of the Lit in Colour programme we are seeking input and views from teachers as part of research being conducted by Dr Velda Elliott at the University of Oxford.

The anonymous survey is relevant to all primary and secondary teachers of English in the UK. It should take around 20 minutes to complete.

You can complete the survey before the end of February, from the link below.

Access the survey

The partnership sees Pearson joining Lit in Colour, a programme launched by Penguin and The Runnymede Trust in 2020 to explore how to increase UK students’ access to books by writers of colour and those from minority ethnic backgrounds, and ensure English Literature better reflects contemporary culture and society. An important element of the programme is assessing the diversity of books and authors currently studied in English Literature exams, including at GCSE level, and understanding what practical support teachers require to teach a more representative selection.

Over 25% of set texts offered by Pearson at GCSE comprise authors of colour, including novels by Malorie Blackman, Meera Syal, Tanika Gupta, Jamila Gavin and Benjamin Zephaniah / Lemn Sissay. In coming together, Pearson and Penguin want to inspire and empower more teachers to consider teaching these set texts by offering support, resources and training.

100 secondary schools in England will be offered the opportunity to participate in a new Lit in Colour Pioneers programme, receiving free access to:

  • Copies of the set texts for every student in the relevant year group.
  • A programme of work and series of free resources including CPD training webinars for teachers and school librarians plus qualification switching support and training where required
  • Support programmes of work for each set text, including creative content from authors including videos and a range of resources to support the specification
  • A Lit in Colour mini library including 300 free Penguin books by writers of colour designed for all age groups, together with colourful posters and artwork
  • A student ambassador programme

The programme, which will open for applications in March, will support any school or college looking to diversify their English Literature curriculum by teaching one of Pearson’s new GCSE or A level set texts, starting in September 2021.

Register your interest for the Lit in Colour Pioneers programme here

In addition to the bespoke support for 100 schools, the Lit in Colour Pioneers programme will offer all secondary schools across the UK free access to the online training events and workshops, as well as free digital teaching resources.


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