Schools Apart: BBC Radio 4 Documentary by Anwar Akhtar (Samosa Media)

Samosa Media

On Monday 4 July, Anwar Akhtar (Founder and Director of The Samosa Media) will be on BBC Radio 4 to present ‘Schools Apart’ – a documentary on diversity and inclusive education within England’s schools.


On Monday 4 July at 8pm, Anwar Akhtar (Founder and Director of The Samosa Media) will be on BBC Radio 4 to present ‘Schools Apart’ – a documentary on diversity and inclusive education within England’s schools.

Founded by Anwar in 2009 and registered as a charity in 2016, Samosa Media is a London-based arts and media charity working to embed diversity in the arts and humanities curriculum in schools, colleges and universities.

The Portal Trust has proudly helped support the Samosa since 2017. Most recently, awarding £110,000 in 2021 for a 2-year programme working with several schools and universities to help deliver a toolkit and media curriculum resource for schools, teachers and youth groups that raises attainment of minority ethnic students and celebrates diverse cultures and heritages through film, media and arts.

The Samosa’s media arts work also includes the film “Pakistan’s Best Kept Secret – Lahore Museum” and as producers of the play “Dara,” working with Ajoka Theatre Pakistan and the National Theatre UK. Dara was in fact the first South Asian history play at the UK’s National Theatre.

As Director and Founder of the charity, Anwar works closely with schools and young people to explore diversity within the curriculum and help deliver these programmes. This includes working with Stepney All Saints Secondary School – of which The Portal Trust is trustee – to provide Study Boot camp workshops and Question Time-style events, funded by the Portal Trust.

As an appointed Governor for the Aldgate Primary School – of which The Trust is also Trustee – Anwar has worked with us for many years and carried out important and critical work on inclusion within schools.

Anwar’s ‘Schools Apart’ documentary will dive into his own background as a first generation son of Pakistani immigrants in Manchester and his experience talking to students, teachers and policy experts, particularly at Stepney All Saints School and Lilian Baylis Technology School.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 4 July at 8pm, Anwar will explore ‘the central role of curriculum diversity in helping build a shared identity for young people’ within the documentary, talking to pioneering teachers at Stepney All Saints, Lilian Baylis in London and Loreto in Manchester.

Contributions will also be shared from Paul Woods (Headteacher at Stepney All Saints), Ben Siaw (Senior Deputy Headteacher) and from several students.

The documentary will be broadcast live at 8pm, however it will also be uploaded as a podcast on Wednesday 6 July for anyone who misses the live version here.

‘What struck me most making this programme is just how committed and brilliant our teachers are up and down England, and their commitment to the children in their classrooms. Also it's impossible to talk about levelling up Britain without taking seriously the inequalities of race in our country, such as those issues raised by the young people and teachers in this programme’

Anwar Akhtar
Director and Founder of The Samosa Media

We’re very proud to help support the Samosa and the important work they do. We very much look forward to tuning in on Monday – make sure to listen in!

Having worked with Samosa over a number of years we have been strong supporters of widening participation for minority ethnic students in the area of media. A career in the media field is still sadly often a closed-shop to working class children and there can also be additional barriers for ethnic minorities. Providing the resources to celebrate diverse cultures and heritages through the creation of their own films, opens the door that little bit wider and makes the possibility of succeeding in the media and arts a reality

Sophie Fernandes
Chairman of The Portal Trust