We know about books, but we’re not education experts – and we don’t have all the answers. Change happens when people work together, which is why we’re excited to be working in partnership with organisations and individuals who have been campaigning for educational reform for many years.

We would be delighted to hear from other organisations and individuals interested in collaborating with us. 



Our principal partner

The Runnymede Trust is the UK’s leading race equality think tank. It aims to challenge race inequality through research, debate and policy development. It engages in many policy areas including education. 

Penguin has commissioned landmark research by The Runnymede Trust to better understand the gaps in the teaching and learning of books by ethnic minority writers in UK primary and secondary schools. The Trust will also make recommendations for change. You can download a more detailed overview of the scope of this research here.

Our supporting partners

Pearson is the UK’s largest awarding body. Over 25% of set texts offered by Pearson at GCSE (9-1) English Literature comprise authors of colour, and over the next two years we will be working in partnership with Pearson to incentivise and support 100 secondary schools across the UK to integrate a new text by a BAME writer into their English Literature curriculum, from September 2021. Click here to find out more the Lit in Colour Pioneers pilot.

The Black Writers’ Guild was set up in June 2020 and represents professional and emerging British writers of Black African and Black African-Caribbean descent. It aims to create a sustainable, profitable, and equal ecosystem of and for Black writers and literary talent in the UK.


OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) is a leading UK awarding body, providing a range of qualifications to meet the needs of learners of all ages and abilities. OCR qualifications include AS/A Levels, GCSEs, and vocational qualifications such as Cambridge Nationals and  Cambridge Technicals. Well over half a million students gain OCR qualifications every year, which are offered by nearly 6,000 centres including schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, training providers, voluntary organisations, local authorities, and businesses. OCR is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group which is a department of the University of Cambridge. We will be working with them as they continue to diversify the texts they offer across their English Literature GCSE and A Level specifications.

The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the literacy skills of those who need it most. Penguin and the National Literacy Trust have worked in partnership for over a decade, including developing Puffin World of Stories to re-imagine primary school libraries and inspire children to fall in love with reading. Building on the charity’s ongoing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, we will work together to embed the principles of Lit in Colour into our existing joint school programmes.

Teach First is a charity aiming to build a fair education for all. They have released an initial report examining the lack of diversity in English Literature curriculum, and will be offering the opportunity to engage with Lit in Colour to their network of teachers across the country.

Our school partners

We hope to work with many different schools across the country over the course of this multi-year campaign. 

Intially, we'll be working with teachers and students at Penguin’s existing partner secondary schools - Lillian Baylis Technology School and Barking Abbey School.

We will also aim to embed Lit in Colour into our flagship programme with the National Literacy Trust, Puffin World of Stories, which has so far supported over 200 primary schools to revitalise their library into a hub of creativity and imagination. 

External advisory board

To help inform how Lit in Colour progresses, we have established an advisory board with a range of experts to help challenge our thinking and offer different perspectives.

Current members include:

  • Penguin Random House UK: Tom Weldon, CEO
  • The Runnymede Trust: Halima Begum, Director
  • National Literacy Trust: Jonathan Douglas, Director
  • Black Writers’ Guild: Emma Dabiri, author
  • Pearson/ Edexcel: Sharon Hague, VP Schools
  • University of Oxford: Professor Nandini Das
  • National Association of Teaching of English: Rachel Roberts, Vice-Chair 
  • Secondary English teacher: Caren Onanda
  • Primary school teacher: Darren Chetty
  • National Association of Head Teachers: Lindsay Ruth Davies, President

Get in touch

Are you interested in joining the campaign? Email us at litincolour@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk.


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