How to improve racial diversity in your children’s books

People from ethnically diverse groups and backgrounds are underrepresented in British children’s books. Find out how to improve representation and diversity in your school library and classrooms, so they reflect the society we live in and so all of your pupils feel represented and valued.

Last reviewed on 30 October 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 40675
Contents
  1. Your pupils can't be what they can't see
  2. First, review the books you already have
  3. Ask and discuss these questions when reviewing your books
  4. Download our question and action checklist
  5. If you’re able to buy new books, use these book lists
  6. Next step: review your curriculum

We appreciate that improving diversity in the books in your school isn’t enough on its own to create an anti-racist curriculum and school environment – but it is a good place to start. This work should sit alongside work on reviewing your curriculum to make it more inclusive (more on this at the end of this article).

Your pupils can't be what they can't see

35.7% of pupils of school age in England are from a minority ethnic background (according to national statistics for 2022/23), yet only 4% of children’s books published in 2018 had a main character who's from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, and only 1% the year before.

As you'll be aware, for all children, it’s important that the stories they encounter in their

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.