- What is IFA?
- The aims of this site
A greeting from the site owner.
Welcome to Inclusion For All.
If you are taking the time to visit my site then perhaps you feel as passionately about issues of bullying and in particular homophobic bullying and the use of homophobic language as I do.
What motivated me to start the Inclusion for All initiative was years of working in schools and seeing countless school staff at every level, unable or unwilling to pro-actively tackle homophobic bullying or being ill equipped to support children who were obviously suffering, some of whom were questioning their identity and many of whom did not conform to established gender stereotypes.
As a school leader my core purpose must be to educate and to ensure the safety and well-being of all pupils in my care; schools that fail to tackle homophobic bullying for whatever reason are therefore, in my humble opinion, failing their pupils. It is important to note that homophobic bullying and language can potentially affect ALL pupils in a school, not just those who may be perceived as different or those who may be questioning their identity. As a school leader it would be unthinkable of me to ignore bullying based on race, religion, gender or disability; surely allowing homophobic bullying to go on unchallenged in schools is equally unthinkable?
I do not class myself as an overtly political individual, nor do I consider myself to be an activist; my work was triggered by the needs of the pupils in my care and my moral purpose remains to put the needs of children first.
I fully accept that there are some strong objections to the strategies shown to be effective in tackling homophobic bullying being developed in our schools, elsewhere in this site I will look at these objections in more detail in an attempt to reduce anxiety and to rationalise the work that needs to be done in schools to ensure inclusion for all. Similarly I am aware that some people hold strong views on homosexuality; it is not the purpose of Inclusion for All to expect people to change their views on homosexuality (although if I can make people change their view to a more accepting one that would be wonderful); Inclusion for All exists to place the needs of children above the ongoing differences of opinion that limit the confidence of schools leaders in tackling homophobic language and bullying in their schools.
I hope through this website and through working with schools I can take some small steps to ensure that all pupils feel represented, valued and included in our schools, for only then can they be free to fulfil their potential as human beings.
I am certainly not the only person undertaking such work and I do hope that you will take the time to visit some of the linked sites such as Stonewall, Diversity Role Models and School's Out. The Equality Act 2010 also provides a clear legal requirement for schools to tackle all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying and there is an expectation for schools to pro-actively promote and foster good relations between those in our school communities that fall under the 9 protected equality act characteristics- which includes sexual orientation. It is also important to note that under the OFSTED criteria 2012 schools are expected to show how they are fostering good relations and pro-actively tackling all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying.
This site is new and will adapt and change according to need and feedback. So once again thanks for visiting my website, together I hope we can send a clear message that homophobic bullying is not acceptable in our schools, for the sake of all our children. Shaun Dellenty April 2012
A personal greeting from Shaun
One of the key features of this site is the Inclusion For All Videocast library. These are short video interviews with members of school staff. Alfred Salter Primary School is currently represented and in time staff from a variety of educational contexts will appear. In posting these unrehearsed, candid chats, I hope that parents, school staff and managers will see a variety of people talking about the work that has been done to tackle homophobia in schools and the wider impact it can have.
Interviews are being conducted regularly, so please do keep checking back.
Upcoming Public Event - Homophobic Bullying Workshop
On Friday March 14th, 2014, Shaun will be hosting a workshop to introduce to you legislation and techniques that will enable you to address the issue of homophobic bullying in your school.
The course is open to all interested professionals, including (but not limited to) teachers, school leaders, inclusion managers and school governors, and refreshments will be provided.
For more information, or to book your place on the course, please contact Shaun at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 252 3676.
If you feel that any of your colleagues would be interested, or may benefit from attending, please feel free to download and print this flyer to give them, or to display on your staff notice board.
A brief introduction to Inclusion For All
'Inclusion for All'To put it simply, Inclusion For All is an umbrella term for a series of strategies that my school has used to tackle gender stereotyping, homophobic bullying or the pejorative use of homophobic language. In describing these strategies I recognize my school context and ethos may differ wildly from that of others; however the Education Act 2006 and Equality Act 2010 still apply. More importantly, gender stereotyping, homophobic bullying and the use of homophobic language can potentially affect ALL children in ALL school contexts.
After more than a year of work in my own school and after visiting others, I have attempted to describe a strategy that could be adapted (not used wholesale, since that could be counterproductive) for your own school context.
Inclusion For All does not have all the answers, but I hope when used thoughtfully it makes a difference to you and the children hurting in our schools and society.
The Inclusion for All strategy firmly places the needs of children first and can be offered as whole school INSET, twilights, and/or strategic support for leadership teams, individual teachers and governors. Training is reflective, lively and interactive and will enable organisations to identify, acknowledge, understand and negate the barriers to tackling homophobia within individuals and organisations. In this way schools will be able to meet their statutory requirements and impress OFSTED with a co-ordinated approach to all forms of bullying and prejudice.
What school staff have said about Inclusion For All:
"I learned not to ignore the use of the word gay in a pejorative way."
"I now realise the effects of homophobic bullying can affect anyone and can be devastating."
"Life can be so confusing and difficult, I am now more able to imagine how hard it must be to be growing up LGBT."
"I now know I need to be more aware of the words I use and my own reactions."
"This training has enabled me to talk more openly about family structures and networks of affection."
"I very much appreciated having such open and honest discussions with other staff, many of us needed to air our views to see they were actually based on misconception and in many cases, prejudice."
"I feel that homophobic bullying is a serious issue both in and out of schools, this training has supported me in dealing with incidents in our own school and in my own family."
"I now have a greater understanding of how the misuse of the word gay can cause real hurt to LGBT people and especially children."
"I now realise I have been making assumptions about our pupils family groups for years."
"I will never again say 'that is not a nice thing to say' when dealing with an incident of homophobic bullying at school."
"It was very interesting to hear a range of opinions in a safe and respectful environment, whilst my view on homosexuality remains largely the same, I now see that it is the children who are telling us they need help and they come first in my book."
If you would like more information about the Inclusion For All strategy, or would like to discuss how the IFA strategy can be adapted to meet the needs of your school, don't hesitate to contact Shaun Dellenty.
What are the aims of this website?
This site aims...
- To help in making children's lives free from homophobic bullying and language
- To instill confidence in school leaders and staff in dealing with the issues of gender stereotyping, homophobic bullying and the pejorative use of homophobic language
- To raise awareness of homophobic bullying in schools
- To raise awareness of the use of homophobic language in schools and in society
- To describe the negative impacts of both homophobic bullying and language
- To describe how gender stereotyping can limit learning opportunities and the development of identity
- To describe the statutory and moral obligations for tackling homophobic bullying and language in schools
- To provide practical tips, anecdotal evidence and support strategies for school staff, parents and pupils in tackling homophobic bullying and language
- To highlight good practice across the country
- To highlight the positive impact for the whole school community in tackling gender stereotyping, homophobic bullying and the use of homophobic language