LGBTQ+ @MWS

We're an LGBTQ+ friendly place.

As a school, we recognise there is still work to be done to protect and celebrate the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Gender Queer, and Sexually Questioning staff and students.

We must be active in our responsibilities to tear down any barriers or obstacles; that will then allow our students to be confident and amenable citizens.  Enabling them to make a positive impact in our modern accepting society.

Know your LGBTQ+ Flags #1

Gay Pride Flag

Let’s start with a familiar one.

The rainbow flag is seen at Pride events all around the world and is often used as a collective symbol for the entire LGBT community.  However, the design we are most familiar with has changed slightly from the original designed by Gilbert Baker in 1977.

Mission Statement

We believe it is the right of every student irrespective of age, race or nationality, religion or belief, disability, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, special needs or ability to achieve their full potential.  Each student should have access to an education which will enable them to utilise their talents to the full and achieve their potential.

We must work to develop every student’s understanding and attitudes towards equality of opportunity and how this may be denied and might affect them in society.

Know your LGBTQ+ Flags #2

Trans Pride Flag

The transgender pride flag was created by Monica Helms, a navy veteran who came out as trans in 1987.Helms came up with the trans flag in 1999, after she met Michael Page, and he told her “the trans community needs a flag too.” The idea for the design came to her quickly, with the blue for trans men, the pink for trans women and the white stripe in the centre representing the non-binary community.

Know your LGBTQ+ Flags #3

Bisexual Pride Flag

The bisexual pride flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 in order to give bisexual people a wider sense of community and visibility.
Page said that the message of the flag was the idea that the purple blends into both the blue and pink in the same way that bisexual people often blend unnoticed into both gay and straight communities.

Know your LGBTQ+ Flags #4

Non-binary Pride flag

Non-binary is both a term to describe a gender identity that isn’t exclusively male or female, and an explicit identity label for many people.

Created in 2014 by 17-year-old Kye Rowan, the four stripes of the Non-binary pride flag each represent a different part of the non-binary community.

Our Students

We need to acknowledge that our students grow up in many different kinds of families.  Some may live with a grandparent/grandparents, a foster carer, are adopted, live with two mums or two dads, or may be growing up with a single parent – mum or dad.

Support for our Parents & Carers

Support all parents and carers by encouraging them to continue their education and personal development and inform them of relevant workshops, conference, training, sign-posting as and where appropriate.

Our Staff

As staff we have to remember that we are role models.  We must recognise and challenge discrimination if and when it occurs.

We will continue to use strategies allowing students time to talk in class discussion, allowing opinions to be shared;  but to challenge any misconceptions and any form of bullying.  Students need to understand that prejudice is recognised and challenged in order to build positive attitudes towards differences between peers.

We will check our own classrooms, reviewing and updating resources/displays so positive messages are presented to the students.  We will provide CPD for staff to support discussion and understanding, therefore facilitating a broader approach to equality

This may require us to go out of our comfort zone, we recognise we must equip staff both new and experienced with the knowledge, confidence, and skills they need to advocate for inclusion.

Many schools are supporting students through poverty, cuts, English as Additional Language, Islamophobia, social media problems, and FMG – the list is endless.  So why should LGBTQ+ be any different?

Glossary of Terms

LESBIAN – Someone who identifies as female and is emotionally and sexually attracted to others who identify as female.

GAY – Someone who identifies as male and is emotionally and sexually attracted to others who identify as male.

BISEXUAL – Someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to others who may identify as male or female.

TRANS – Someone who identifies that they are thinking, wanting or are transitioning or have transitioned to their gender that they feel most represents who they are as a person.  See more details in the section of meeting the needs of trans* pupils.

GENDERQUEER – Someone whose gender may be fluid or someone whose gender does not meet the gender binary. This could mean that Genderqueer people may have many types of sexualities, they may identify with a sexual orientation above or with a sexual orientation that is not listed above.

SEXUALLY QUESTIONING – Someone who is unsure of their sexual orientation, may be questioning their sexual orientation or maybe finding their sexual orientation.  Note: Gender is more than the biological identification of sex of an individual e.g. male and  female. It is the way pupils perform their gendered individual identities through their
behaviour and actions (Butler, 1990).

HOMOPHOBIA – Negative attitudes (prejudice) and actions (discrimination) towards people who identify or are perceived to be lesbian or gay.

TRANSPHOBIA – Negative attitudes (prejudice) or actions (discrimination) towards people who identify or are perceived to be Trans*

BIPHOBIA – Negative attitudes (prejudice) or actions (discrimination) towards people who identify or are perceived to be Bisexual.

HETERONORMATIVITY – Structures and practices that promote and reinforce heterosexuality as the norm and presumes that everyone is heterosexual unless otherwise stated.

What does Ofsted say about meeting the needs of LGBT students?

One of the principles of an OFSTED inspection is to assess the inclusivity of the school environment so that it ‘meets the needs of all pupils, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.’ (OFSTED, 2012, p. 14).

In ‘The Framework for School Inspection’ under the ‘Behaviour and Safety at School’ section OFSTED considers that the behaviour of pupils towards other pupils and the way that schools enable pupils to be free from bullying, harassment and discrimination in the context of the Equality Act 2010 is an aspect that they will assess when undertaking an inspection,
this includes sexual orientation and gender.

OFSTED also considers the role the teacher plays in not just only managing behaviour in their classroom but the way they allow ALL pupils to ‘have an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.’ (OFSTED, 2012, p.19).

It is important for schools to demonstrate ways that they are enabling pupils who are LGBTGQSQ to be free from discrimination and to demonstrate ways that they are dealing with homo, bi and trans* phobic bullying.

For teachers this is a case of following and implementing school policies that relate to this area and to take opportunities within the Curriculum to demonstrate ways that they are enabling LGBTGQSQ pupils to be free from discrimination in the classroom so that they are able to flourish and succeed.
A school must be a safe place where an LGBTGQSQ pupil is able to be free from discrimination, harassment and bullying and all staff must ensure that all policies are put into practice and to have equality and diversity practices implements across the whole school.

Meeting the needs of Trans* Students

‘70% of pupils who identify as Gender Variant experience transphobic bullying’ (EHRC, 2009)

The Equality Act 2010 outlawed discrimination towards pupils who identify as transgender. In this case it is defined as any pupil who is taking any steps to transition gender. It also means that pupils undergoing gender reassignment surgery are protected by the law which means schools must provide positive action to meet the needs of the pupil.

This means that schools cannot discriminate against their trans* pupils in the following
ways:
 In relation to admissions
 In the way it provides education for pupils
 In the way it provides pupil access to any benefit, facility or service
 By excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment.
(DfE, 2012)

Schools need to be adaptable in their approach to uniform so that a pupil who is transitioning are having their needs met (DfE, 2012).
Teachers must not treat transgender pupils differently or highlight that a pupil is transgender to the rest of the class and may cause the trans* pupil to feel uncomfortable or victimised.

Gender Matters is an organisation that supports those who identify as transgender or would for people who would like to find out more information about gender:
Website: www.gender‐matters.org.uk | Telephone: 01902 744424 | Email: info@gender‐matters.org.uk
Note: Schools also must protect the rights of pupils whose parents identify as transgender (DfE, 2012).

Shropshire Youth Association

The XYZ Youth Group is for young People who describe themselves as: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender fluid or questioning.

The group meet weekly around the county in the following pattern:

  • Week 1 Telford 11.00 till 12.30

               Oswestry 2.00 till 3.30pm

  • Week 2 Shrewsbury 2.00 till 3.30pm

  • Week 3 Nothing at the moment

  • Week 4 Shrewsbury 2.00 till 3.30pm