Highlighting charities that are driving equal education for all
During this year’s Pride Month, we’d like to recognise fellow charities that are doing excellent work to drive equality of education for all.
In a time when the attainment gap is widening, exacerbated by the disruption to education during the pandemic, it’s particularly important to focus on the actions we can all take to make education inclusive for those from all backgrounds, situations, and underrepresented groups.
Our core purpose is to promote and advance learning to create a fairer society, and collaborating to drive greater diversity and inclusion in the education sector is key to this.
Here are just a few of the organisations leading the way, and we would recommend getting in touch to find out more about the support they may be able to offer you, your staff and your learners.
Stonewall: acceptance without exception
Stonewall was set up in 1989 to oppose Section 28 - a piece of legislation which was brought in to ‘prohibit the promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities. The hugely controversial policy is said to have led to bullying and alienation for LGBT young people who felt unrepresented, targeted and excluded.
Now a registered charity, Stonewall is committed to putting ‘the case for equality on the mainstream political agenda’ and provides a wealth of resources on its website for schools, colleges and parents including how to ensure your provision supports LGBT+-inclusive education and LGBT+ young people.
Schools OUT UK: creating safe spaces
Schools OUT UK is an education charity which is committed to ensuring that our educational institutions are safe spaces for teachers, tutors, students, parents, carers, support staff and all those who access education in any kind of capacity.
Schools Out UK works to make LGBT+ people safe and visible in all their diversities and it provides numerous free resources to do just that. The charity founded LGBT+ History Month which is every February, highlighting a different theme every year. The Classroom has more than 80 lesson plans for all ages across the curriculum to educate around LGBT+ issues. OUTing the Past is an annual national and international festival that celebrates LGBT+ history, while Voice and Visibility is an interactive website enabling people to discover more about LGBT+ history in the UK.
Educate & Celebrate: building a future of inclusion and social justice
Educate & Celebrate equips communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organisation by focusing on Training, Policy, Curriculum, Environment and Community.
Alongside other partners, it has produced extensive research about LGBT+ inclusion, which helps raise awareness by providing guidance for schools. It also delivers staff training, CPD and engages pupils in activism through the PRIDE Youth Network training, alongside creating free resources and reviewing organisations to achieve their ‘PRIDE in Diversity and Inclusion Award’. Take a look at Educate & Celebrate’s video which demonstrates the organisation’s work with 80 schools as they worked towards their awards.
Mermaids UK: supporting gender diversity
Mermaids UK is a charity that supports gender diversity and helps to empower young people to feel understood, included, represented and supported. It does this by hosting community groups, helpline services, events and residential weekends, and providing online resources.
Mermaids also supports teachers, GPs, CAMHS, Social Services and other professionals on gender diversity with CPD-certified trans-inclusive diversity training.
Its aim is to ensure that transgender and gender-variant children have the freedom and confidence to explore their gender identity wherever their journey takes them, free from fear, isolation and discrimination.
How can NCFE support you?
We believe in the power of education to support learners, teachers and parents to understand and celebrate the world of differences we live in.
To support schools during their PSHE lessons, we have a number of resources and qualifications to explore, which directly support inclusionary education including Relationships, Sex and Health Education and qualifications in Equality and Diversity, which may be eligible for funding.