In large organisations, complaints by employees of racist or sexist behaviour by people in positions of authority are often resolved outside the glare of publicity to safeguard the corporate brand and individual privacy. In the case of the English Schools Foundation, the city’s biggest international school group, that approach was not a credible option. Claims of racism and sexism at King George V School in an open letter from a Year 13 student in June soon led to a public petition bearing more than 2,400 signatures. It called for school management to address an issue not confined to one school and to introduce reforms. ESF chief executive Belinda Greer rightly came out and acknowledged the complaints as “deeply troubling” and warranting an “extremely serious” response, including a plan to strengthen diversity and equality in the foundation’s 22 schools, which serve nearly 18,000 students of 75 nationalities. It is good therefore that Greer has announced new training for teachers in diversity and equality, and it is telling that she has asked for time to implement changes because they involve a cultural shift. The incident and subsequent review have obviously uncovered a problem that is not an isolated concern, even if it is not rampant. The student’s open letter accused some teachers at King George V of mocking Asian students over their names and acting inappropriately during uniform checks and making girls feel uncomfortable. Students and parents from at least four other ESF primary and secondary schools told the Post they or their children had encountered similar racism. Greer has admitted to “unconscious bias” on campus and said she had apologised to a small group of students who had made complaints. At the same time she insisted the problem was no worse than at other schools or businesses. This is not to be dismissed as a remote incident in a privileged ex-colonial institution. An ESF education is popular with local parents as well as expatriates. The ESF has joined with the students who spoke up in calling out perceived racial and sexist attitudes. Training for teachers in equality and diversity is just a first step. A stronger deterrent such as disciplinary action may be needed if the ESF is to continue to exemplify diversity and tolerance.