Margaret Casely-Hayford to lead diversity review of CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals logo

Chair of ActionAid UK, Margaret Casely-Hayford, will chair an independent review into how equality, diversity, inclusion and participation can best be championed and embedded into the work of the country’s oldest children’s book awards, the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

A Board Apprentice Ambassador, Margaret is a long-standing champion of board diversity, advising young entrepreneurs, those embarking upon board careers and organisations on governance. A retired lawyer, Margaret has held a wide range of non-executive positions at organisations including NHS England, the Co-op, Great Ormond St Children's Hospital Charity and the Geffrye Museum.

Margaret Casely-Hayford said, “It is so important for young people growing up that they are genuinely included in the world around them. Stories and pictures are the oldest way in which we record and represent our environment and our place in it. Which is why I am so pleased to be working with CILIP to ensure the UK’s oldest and most prestigious awards for outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people are the best possible champions of inclusion, diversity and equality.”

CILIP, the library and information association, announced the review of Medals - as part of the organisation’s wider Equality and Diversity Action Plan which will be published Monday 31 July 2017 - following concerns raised about the lack of BAME representation on the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist. CILIP’s Equality and Diversity Action Plan follows previously published research commissioned in 2015 by CILIP and the Archives and Records Association, which outlined diversity issues in the library, archives, records, information management and knowledge management sector.

Nick Poole CILIP Chief Executive said, “We are so proud of the awards, our hard-working judges and partners; and of the thousands of young people that discover new writing and illustration through the awards each year. The review is a welcome opportunity to promote positive change by championing equality, diversity, inclusion and participation. We are so grateful to Margaret for her support and commitment and we look forward to working with her through the review process.”

The review was launched today, Monday 26 June, and will seek views from the widest possible range of stakeholders. A consultation will run in the autumn of 2017 before the review report is published in early 2018. Recommendations from the review will come into effect from the autumn of 2018 onwards.


Press contact

Mark Taylor Director of External Relations, CILIP
020 7255 0654
07792 635 305

Notes for editors

1. About Margaret Casely-Hayford

Margaret is a retired lawyer, was on the board of NHS England and is now on the Co-op board and is the chair of ActionAid UK. From 2000-2008 she was a government appointed trustee of Great Ormond St Children's Hospital Charity, and the Geffrye Museum; and was on the development board of the Young Vic theatre.

For nine years until July 2014 she was Director of Legal Services for the John Lewis Partnership. She worked for twenty years previously with City law firm Dentons where she was a partner. After 30 years as a lawyer, she retired from executive roles. In 2014 Margaret was named by the Black British Business Awards as Business Person of the Year.

This year Margaret was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Business Faculty of Middlesex University.

Margaret was appointed Chair of international development Charity Action Aid UK in 2014. She was elected to the Board of the Co-op in May 2016; and in June 2016 was appointed a Trustee on the Board of the Radcliffe Foundation that funds arts and music projects.

She now advises young entrepreneurs, organisations on governance and those embarking upon board careers. Promoting board diversity, she’s a Board Apprentice ambassador. She’s Chair of the Advisory Board of Ultra Education, which teaches entrepreneurial skills to primary school children.

2. About CILIP

CILIP, the library and information association is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession. CILIP’s goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. The Youth Libraries Group (YLG) of CILIP works in a ‘pressure group’ role to preserve and influence the provision of quality literature and library services for children and young people, both in public libraries and school library services. Visit

More about CILIP’s research about the library and information workforce with ARA

3. The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children and young people. The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people. The Amnesty CILIP Honours are a unique commendation that recognises writing and illustration for children and young people that illuminate, uphold and celebrate our freedoms and human rights. Amnesty International’s judging panel examines the shortlists for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for outstanding writing and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration and selects one title from each shortlist that best celebrates the values of freedom, justice and fairness; and contributes to a better understanding of our human rights.

Each year CILIP members are invited to nominate books for the Carnegie and the Kate Greenaway Medals using the published criteria as their guide. In 2017, 114 books of outstanding writing were nominated for the Carnegie and 93 books of distinguished illustration for nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. The panel of 12 judges are democratically elected from across the UK through CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group of children’s and youth librarians in schools and public libraries. The panel uses the criteria to judge the nominated books and decide a longlist of 20 titles for each medal, a shortlist of six to eight titles and the ultimate winners.

2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the 60th anniversary of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.

The 2017 winners were:

  • CILIP Carnegie Medal: Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys (Puffin)
  • CILIP Kate Greenaway: There is a Tribe of Kids, illustrated and written by Lane Smith (Two Hoots)
  • Amnesty CILIP Honour from the CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist: The Bone Sparrow, by Zana Fraillon (Orion Children's Books)
  • Amnesty CILIP Honour from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist: The Journey, illustrated and written by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)