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Research undertaken into how publishing staff feel about making content inclusive

Beth Cox, Inclusion and Equality Consultant, in partnership with Westchester Education UK and International, are researching how children’s and educational publishing staff feel about creating inclusive content and receiving DEI and authenticity reviews, as well as the approach to inclusion within organisations, and the impact this has on them.

Research will be carried out via an anonymous survey, launched on Monday 6th February, and aims to capture data from a wide cross-section of in-house publishing staff in order to identify trends across the industry.

Why is this research necessary?

The children’s and educational publishing industry is full of well-intentioned individuals and is generally liberal-minded. But does this mean that there is a sense that staff should already know how to make books inclusive? And does this assumption hold them back from asking questions and having difficult conversations? On top of this, given the minimal diversity of the workforce, what part does unconscious bias play in how inclusion is approached?

Whilst the movement towards inclusion has gained momentum in recent years, training in this area can be patchy and of varying quality. This can impact staff both in terms of knowledge and mindset, and affect their work.

With the launch of the revised Publishers Association Inclusivity Action Plan, which now includes commitments around inclusive content and training, it’s important that publishers understand how confident staff feel about creating this content and what kind of training appears to be most effective.

Additionally, more publishers are commissioning DEI and authenticity reviews on backlist and forthcoming publications, but how well-equipped are staff to interpret and implement that feedback?

“In my 20 years working in children’s and educational publishing, both from my own personal experience and with people I’ve worked with as a consultant, I’ve noticed certain trends around confidence in inclusion and the impact this has on creativity. I’m keen to see if this is just anecdotal, or whether it’s a pattern in the industry.”


Beth Cox, Inclusion and Equality Consultant

“Working with educational publishers and ed-tech companies across the globe, we have recognised and reacted to the growing need for content to be reviewed to ensure it meets today’s DE&I standards. It will be extremely valuable to see how our clients, and those in our industry, feel about inclusion, and how they use the feedback they receive from DE&I Reviews such as our own.”


Rebecca Durose-Croft, Managing Director,
Westchester Education UK and International

How can you take part?

From Monday 6th February until Monday 6th March a survey will be open for employed/in-house staff in children’s and educational publishing. The survey is completely anonymous – no names or email address will be collected ­– and will be analysed without judgement in order to encourage staff to give honest responses.

The aim is to collect as many responses as possible within and across publishing houses, big and small. 

Where can you read the results?

The results will be analysed and shared in a white paper, due to be published in April. 

Got a question?

Please get in touch with any questions. 

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