“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

Debbie Brazil

Debbie is the founder of the End Sexism in Schools campaign. She is a parent of two teenage boys who, between them, have attended four primary and secondary schools. She came across everyday sexism in all these schools but whenever she tried to raise it, she was met with denial, empty rhetoric or downright hostility. As Debbie’s children have gone through the school years, she has watched patriarchy reproducing itself. 

Since schools are not large corporate institutions, but sit within local communities Debbie thought they must be easier to change, but has in fact discovered that schools are largely unaccountable with very little scrutiny. Debbie realised she needed to find allies to work with. She successfully put a motion to the Women’s Equality Party conference 2020 on ending sexism in schools, helping highlight the issue and leading to Debbie finding her team. Together have kickstarted this campaign to End Sexism In Schools. 

Debbie will be satisfied when 50% of the books read in English are by female authors, when women are studied throughout all periods of history, and when women are reflected equally throughout the whole curriculum. Sexual harassment and school rape culture will only be tackled when issues relating to women and girls stop being sidelined into PHSE or standalone modules, to be ticked off as done, leaving the rest of the school institution untouched.

Debbie has a Masters in Women’s Studies from Bradford University. She currently works for an NHS Hospital, leading improvement and transformation activity, having previously worked as a General Manager running hospital services, and working for the Health Inspectorate, and NHS England in various roles. In between all of this Debbie squeezes in playing the violin in an orchestra.

Jen Heil

Jen is an ex-English HLTA and literacy specialist now working in PR and marketing. She is an active member of the Women’s Equality Party, taking a lead role in their Race Equality Caucus Allies group. She is also a writer and published her first collection of poetry and short fiction in 2019.

With a background in teaching and youth work, Jen has been working with children and young people in different settings for over 15 years.

Although she no longer works in a school setting, Jen still cares passionately about education and she signed up to be involved in the End Sexism in Schools campaign when it was brought to the WEP conference in 2020. She hopes to see a fundamental shift in school culture and curriculum that better prepares young people for life in the 21st century and supports progress towards a more equitable world.

Rachel Fenn

Rachel is an English and Drama teacher with ten years’ teaching experience in UK state and independent schools. She has spent the past six years leading the English department at an international bilingual school in London, and alongside this is a school governor, textbook author, teacher trainer and education consultant, specialising in curriculum design. Rachel is also a youth theatre practitioner and playwright, and is currently taking a break from the classroom to both focus on her playwriting, and devote more time to the End Sexism in Schools campaign. 

A devout feminist, Rachel is tired of seeing sex education in schools touted as being the only answer to endemic sexism. Wanting to be part of tackling the disease rather than the symptoms, she joined the End Sexism in Schools campaign when it was brought to the WEP conference in 2020. Rachel wants to see a radical rethinking of the school curriculum and culture to enable women’s voices, experiences and histories to be given equal prominence, significance and respect as men’s.  A firm believer that we are what we read, Rachel is delighted that the End Sexism in Schools campaign is starting with tackling the English curriculum in secondary schools, but also excited that this is just the beginning!

Sue Crampton

Sue is a retired teacher who for many years worked abroad. She also ran her own supply teacher agency, but now is a writer and campaigner for women’s equality.

In 2013 she published a fictionalised diary about an early female Labour MP (Edith Picton Turbervill) who had been forgotten. She more recently published her first novel ‘Behind the Oleander’ about her time working in Iran with the military and before the Revolution, and an anthology of stories about Catalonia.

Four years ago while living in Scotland, she became branch leader of the Women’s Equality Party in Aberdeen.

She has been a lifelong feminist, inspired by her dad, and is very pleased now, to be assisting in the End Sexism in Schools project and with the History Sub Group.

Women from all classes have been sidelined, forgotten, or just airbrushed out of history. Sue hopes the group’s work will help future generations of boys and girls begin to understand and learn just how valuable women have always been.

If you’d like to join the End Sexism in Schools team, head to our Get Involved page to sign up!