This article presents findings from our collaborative Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) project which employed an action research methodology to explore Equality and Diversity (E&D) practices within our settings. Identified issues included lack of staff confidence exploring E&D in the classroom; lesson observations reporting “tokenistic” or “strained” E&D work, and concerns that shared or collaborative E&D practice within or between educational settings rarely occurred. Our question therefore was how best to empower teaching and learning communities to effectively promote equality and celebrate diversity. We attempted to establish a Professional Learning Community (PLC) (Vescio et al, 2008), whilst simultaneously seeking to engage learners more actively in the design and development of their E&D work. These processes helped enable symbiotic knowledge exchange between staff, and between staff and learners, enriching teaching, learning, and assessment practices as collective E&D practices began to travel within and beyond the realms of our settings. Future endeavours include further exploration of the impact of our E&D PLC upon learning and assessment outcomes, with particular focus on further collaboration with learners, examination boards, and third sector partners to aid diversification of both internal and external assessment practices.


professional learning community, equality and diversity, community learning, collaborative practice

How to Cite
Meaby V. (2018) “Establishing Professional Learning Communities to Support the Promotion of Equality and Celebration of Diversity: Reflections from a North-East Community Learning Teacher”, Teaching in Lifelong Learning. 8(2). doi:





Vicky Meaby (Darlington Borough Council Learning & Skills Service)

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