Next week, King’s Worcester will be joining tens of thousands of pupils and teachers taking part in Schools Diversity Week 2020 to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) equality in education.
Alongside our anti-bullying and safeguarding policies, taking part in this such week is an important way of supporting LGBT+ pupils in our school. It also demonstrates our commitment to an inclusive school environment where pupils can be themselves and thrive.
School Diversity Week 2020 (#SDW20), is organised by the Charity ‘Just Like Us’ (www.justlikeus.org). It is an annual event, which sees over 250,000 pupils and teachers taking part in initiatives and activities to recognise and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) equality in education. The week aims to empower young people, parents and staff across the country to recognise diversity and understanding in schools and take responsibility for tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
The School Diversity Week at King’s will include a series of PRIDE-themed assemblies, access for pupils to masterclasses on diversity topics, a Vote for Schools’ PSHE Session on Pride (with the question ‘Does Pride Month Inspire Unity’), and other activities such as the PRIDE Bake-Off Challenge. Alongside this, the School Library is offering pupils an extensive reading list.
The week provides us with the chance to ensure that pupils are well educated on the importance of diversity in the world and the futures we are preparing them for.
Acting Headmaster, Jon Ricketts, says “The support for Diversity Week follows on from the wider community’s engagement, with the recent Black Lives Matter campaign. While the two campaigns are different in their focus, the themes of equality and diversity are common to them both. The Black Lives Matter campaign has been inspirational, uniting us in a determination to enable and uphold racial equality in all aspects of our communal life.
At King’s we believe that the whole Foundation has a responsibility to form the next generation, enabling our pupils to recognise and challenge any forms of discrimination. Our schools must be a safe place for all and, at the heart of our vision, is a commitment to the empowerment of pupil voices so that everyone is heard. We want to forge a future in which discrimination is challenged and addressed and diversity accepted and celebrated.
In committing ourselves to diversity we will look carefully at our curriculum and we will identify ways to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of all ethnicities, especially those that have been marginalised and discounted, to the intellectual, political, cultural, social and economic fabric of our society. We will also take greater opportunity to headline the existence and legacy of racial inequity and injustice.
Diversity training for staff continues, and we are determined that our PHSE programmes, school rules, policies, and procedures educate all to understand and uphold diversity and equality, be this racial or lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+). Most important of all, our everyday human interactions must be honest and self-critical, enabling us to see diversity as a gift to be celebrated.
As silence is complicity we must, as reflective practitioners, improve our provision and support for all our pupils as we, in turn, demand of them the skills of empathy and maturity.”