On 29 November Stonewall launched its new School Champions programme. The programme, part of Stonewall’s Education for All campaign, works directly with schools to provide tailored support and guidance in challenging homophobic bullying and celebrating difference.
Ofsted’s new framework, which will be launched in January 2012, includes specific reference to behaviour and will look at how schools tackle the issue of homophobic bullying. The School Champions programme will help schools prepare for the new framework and, as well as offering advice and practical support on preventing and tackling homophobic bullying, will give schools access to a huge range of resources created by Stonewall to help ensure they have the right approaches in place.
Alastair Tallon, Stonewall’s Education Director, said: ‘Being a member of the School Champions programme will be an effective way for schools to meet the new Ofsted criteria. A wide range of schools have already signed up to the programme including primary schools and pupil referral units.’
The School Champions programme was launched as part of an event, hosted by Birmingham City Council, to discuss the importance of effective leadership in tackling homophobic bullying.
Recent YouGov polling for Stonewall showed that nine in ten secondary school staff and more than two in five primary school staff say children and young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, experience homophobic bullying, name calling or harassment in their schools. Yet, nine in ten secondary and primary school staff have never received any specific training on how to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying.
A Deputy Headteacher from a South East London Primary School said: ‘Working alongside Stonewall has enabled me as a school leader to be pro-active in tackling the sometimes complex issues around homophobic bullying and gender stereotyping. Staff at all levels now feel fully supported and confident in tackling homophobic bullying and the use of homophobic language.’
Stonewall also launched the Effective School Leadership guide, supported by National College for School Leadership, at the seminar.
1) The seminar is a benefit of belonging to Stonewall’s Education Champions or School Champions programme
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