Watch our latest film about the Joan Goody archive collection

November 29, 2021

Our next film about the George Padmore Institute (GPI) looks at the Joan Goody archive collection. The GPI’s archivist Sarah Garrod along with Jenny Green and Lawrence Scott talk about Joan, her legacy and the importance of the GPI archive.

Joan Goody (1924-2008) was an English teacher and pioneer in introducing Caribbean, African and Asian literature into British schools. The New Beacon bookshop became an important resource for this initiative and she became a long-standing friend of the founders John La Rose and Sarah White.

The collection at the GPI includes Joan’s papers, publications and materials, both photographic and audio-visual. It represents a significant archive of English teaching from the 1960s to 1990s, at a time when teachers were trying to bring Caribbean, African and Asian literature to multi-racial classrooms, and which was also part of anti-racist efforts. The schools she taught at included Risinghill, an early inner-city, multi-ethnic comprehensive school in Islington, and Clissold Park School in Hackney, where she was Head of the English Department.

Joan was actively involved at every level of English teaching. She was a member of the London Association for the Teaching of English (LATE) where she founded the Multi-Cultural Commission, which led to her contributing to national reports on English teaching and Multi-Cultural Education. Later, she was an Advisory Teacher at the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) for Multi-Cultural/Multi-Ethnic and Anti-Racist Education. Many of the teachers she worked with are also represented in this archive.

View the film on the Discover page

For more detailed information about the Joan Goody archive collection visit the archive page


Jenny Green had a career teaching English Language and Literature in a range of comprehensive schools in London and Trinidad and Tobago. For seventeen years, she was Head of the English department at the Sixth Form Centre, City Islington College, while also working as an Inspector for the Further Education sector. Jenny met Joan Goody through their mutual interest in Multi-Cultural Education and ‘Teaching London Kids’ during Jenny’s early teaching experiences in the late 1970s. They also shared an interest in the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Tobago, where Jenny lived and stayed from time to time with her husband, Lawrence Scott, and where Joan visited as a key member of the Caribbean Teachers Exchange Programme. After retiring, Jenny and Lawrence, with the support of Joan’s family, friends and colleagues – and most importantly New Beacon Books and the George Padmore Institute – have been working on the Joan Goody Archive.

Lawrence Scott is a writer from Trinidad and Tobago. He taught English in London and Trinidad comprehensive schools from 1973 to 2006. He met Joan Goody while teaching in Peckham in the 1970s and was introduced, through her, to what was then called Multi-Cultural Education. His first time of teaching in Trinidad in the late 1970s coincided with Joan’s visit to teach there in 1978 on the Caribbean Teachers Exchange Programme, which Joan managed for the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). He became and remained a close friend of Joan’s until her death in 2008. It was through Joan that he was introduced to John La Rose and Sarah White and the work of New Beacon Books and the George Padmore Institute.  

Sarah Garrod has over twenty years’ experience as a professional archivist, including former posts in collections management and public services at the London Metropolitan Archives and Hampshire Record Office. Sarah joined the George Padmore Institute in 2003 and has been central to the development of the GPI Archives from its infancy, as well as managing staff and the GPI volunteer team. She is committed to the sharing of knowledge and making archives as accessible as possible through delivering workshops, managing creative residencies and exhibition work.

Part of the Reaching New Generations project funded by Arts Council England

A photo of Jenny Green
Jenny Green

A photo of Lawrence Scott
Lawrence Scott. Photograph by William Hurle

A photo of Sarah Garrod
Sarah Garrod