Abbot’s Lea School celebrate The Rainbow Flag Award success

A Woolton-based specialist school is continuing to make great strides towards achieving greater inclusivity through its commitment to The Rainbow Flag Award programme.

Abbot’s Lea School is one of the first special schools in Liverpool to participate in the programme.

The Rainbow Flag Award is a national quality assurance framework for all schools and youth-centred organisations. The award focuses on positive LGBT+, (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, plus other related identities), inclusion and visibility.

Having achieved a badge of completion for ‘Effective Policies’ in February, the school has now gone on to complete two further sections of the programme and has earned badges for ‘Skilled Teacher’ and ‘Pastoral Support’.

The Skilled Teacher section focuses on equipping educators with essential understanding and effective skills to foster a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment for LGBT+ students. The school has achieved this by implementing a series of initiatives, including the creation of an LGBT+ board for staff members, extensive staff training on LGBT+ language and identities, and comprehensive staff guidance for LGBT+ awareness.

The training was designed to reinforce appropriate terminology, understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, and provide a list of external organisations for further support. The guidance was instrumental in educating staff on how to consistently challenge and report any form of LGBTphobia. A Rainbow Award Quiz was also conducted to ensure the effective absorption of this knowledge amongst the staff team.

The school also successfully completed the Pastoral Support section which included various measures to create a welcoming atmosphere for LGBT+ students, such as displaying welcoming posters on the doors of pastoral service, sending out an inclusive email to all students, and updating the school website with relevant information and support.

As part of this, an LGBT+ pastoral support handbook was carefully created which offers information on different identities, support channels, and methods of self-care and exploration, underlining the school’s readiness to support LGBT+ students comprehensively.

By successfully completing these sections of the Rainbow Flag Award programme, the school has shown its unwavering commitment to promoting LGBT+ inclusion and visibility.

Headteacher of Abbot’s Lea School, Mrs Ania Hildrey, said: “I am extremely proud that we have been recognised for our inclusive approach as a school. By participating in The Rainbow Flag Award, we can confidently review and enhance our policies and practices, and proudly say that our school continues to be a safe and welcoming place for our entire diverse community.

“By promoting diversity and inclusion, we actively contribute to a more accepting world, and we are proud to be part of this ongoing societal journey.”

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