Education is a fundamental area of policymaking. It has the ability to shape future generations and leave a monumental impact on the make-up of society and individuals lives’. It is therefore imperative that we continuously strive to challenge existing policy and propose solutions to improve education for all.

This year, we would like to explore the idea of ‘positive discrimination’ in British education policy. With private initiatives that attempt to redress racial inequalities in higher education, where has this left other underrepresented groups? We will also examine this debate in terms of the education system as a whole, exploring the ‘gender gap’, as well as fair representation in teaching staff, and what this really means. Overall, our focus will be positive discrimination, and what this has meant for the respective groups.

To begin this year, we will explore Stormzy’s recent scholarship for two students of ‘Black African’, ‘Black Caribbean’, or ‘Black Other’ descent at Cambridge University. We will aim to understand the historical realities that inspired such initiatives, but also, how other groups can imagine such schemes as ‘racist’. The research and events that will follow will explore these divides, and suggest reforms that both quell the need for private initiatives, whilst encouraging a harmonious education system.

In the second half of the year, our focus will shift to the exploring positive discrimination in terms of gender, the ‘gender gap’ being particularly prevalent in the British education system. Indeed, last year saw the introduction of new GCSE qualifications: with the loss of the A*-G system, we gained the 1-9 classification. This new system has been thought to benefit boys in particular; however, we endeavour to explore the extent of this, looking to promote policy that encourages a fair system for all.

We aim to bring together experts and students to discuss innovative policy ideas and apply them to current issues in education. In addition to hosting panel events and roundtable discussions with leading education specialists, we will write regular blogs on big topics in education to keep you up-to-date with changes in education. Students will be able to have a real impact on shaping education policy and contribute their ideas and experiences to the debate by attending our events, proposing and lobbying policy, and writing commentaries for the King’s Think Tank blog.

We are extremely excited about this year’s themes and encourage you to get involved with our policy centre! If you would like to contact the Education Policy Centre please email us at

Zulehka Butt 
Director, Education Policy Centre