Dear Parents & Carers,
We want to make sure that every child in our school does their best. One way we are doing this is by marking School Diversity Week, along with millions of pupils across the UK.
What’s the week about?
We celebrate our school's community and diversity in many ways. The particular focus of this week is to acknowledge lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) equality in education.
Growing up is really difficult for LGBT+ young people and there will be some junior school aged children who are already finding life a challenge as they begin to realise, while approaching puberty, that they are not quite like other people they see around them: 40% of such people have thoughts about suicide, 52% have harmed themselves and 86% still hear homophobic comments (a common form of abuse for children of primary school age is to call each other gay or lesbian, often without knowing anything about what the term really means or the pain caused when such words are used in a derogatory way). All of this has a potentially life-long impact on how well LGBT+ people do in school and beyond, while fostering the persistence of prejudice, intolerance and shame in the wider community.
We want to make sure that everyone in our school is not bullied, both children and adults. It’s also important to prepare young people for the world beyond school, which is a very diverse place.
It’s the law
Teaching young people about being LGBT+ is included in the Equality Act 2010, the new PSHE curriculum, and how well we do it is measured by Ofsted.
Doing activities at home
On the ClassDojo School Story, there is a PDF giving details of activities children and families might want to try at home. If you do, please send us a picture of the results to share in the newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Some people believe that talking about LGBT+ people is not in accordance with the identity of All Saints as a Church of England school or in keeping with safeguarding expectations. The Church of England has published a document, Valuing All God's Children and we comply with its guidance on challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. Equally, there is nothing about celebrating diversity that contradicts safeguarding regulations or, indeed, compromises the school's vision and values - in fact, diversity is what Loving All Our Neighbours and being safe, ready & respectful is all about. None-the-less, if you would like more details about safeguarding and how diversity sits within the school's identity, please contact me directly.
How you can help
As parents, carers and guardians, we need your support to make sure your child makes the most of any discussions around diversity they encounter (please note that, this year, School Diversity Week is only being mentioned formally in this news item and on ClassDojo). If you can, I would love for you to support your child to complete some of the optional activities in the attached document and share the outcomes back with us in the newsletter. Also, should any of this spark conversation at home, I hope that you can talk positively with your family about all aspects of diversity, from LGBT+ people through to ethnicity, culture and religion: accepting and celebrating the richness and variety of people around us makes for a better, less-conflict driven world.
If you have any questions at all, please contact me directly or via the School Office.
All the best,
Richard D Rhodes,