The LGBT+ Inclusive School

Internal practice

Duration

Ongoing

Reason it was developed

To raise awareness of issues within schools – staffrooms & classrooms regarding LGBT+ inclusion

Activities

1. LGBT+ Teachers’ Group The INTO LGBT+ Teachers’ Group provides support for LGBT+ members and has campaigned with INTO on equality legislation allowing religious ethos schools use their ethos to discriminate against LGBT+ teachers. They hold regular meetings and promote LGBT+ inclusion via their webpages. https://www.into.ie/about/our-structure/associated-groups/into-lgbt-teachers-group/ 2. Different Families, Same Love competition The INTO LGBT+ Teachers’ Group devised a school competition based around the theme Different Families, Same Love acknowledging that families come in all shapes, sizes and memberships. It encourages classes and teachers to explore LGBT+ and other family diversity in the classroom https://www.into.ie/about/our-structure/associated-groups/into-lgbt-teachers-group/dfsl-competition/ 3. LGBT+ Inclusion Conference – presentation of research and screening of docufilm ‘Lived Workplace Experiences of LGBT+ Teachers in Ireland’ The INTO Equality Committee chose the theme of LGBT+ inclusion as its research conference theme. The Committee worked with the LGBT+ Teachers’ Group to conduct research among members with regard. • The experiences of LGBT+ teachers in our schools • Awareness of LGBT+ teacher issues in our schools • Preventing and dealing with homophobic and transphobic bullying among pupils and students • Gender non-conforming pupils/students and pupils/students transitioning between genders • Normalising LGBT+ identities through the school curriculum. The research was presented at the Equality Conference in Feb 2020 (https://www.into.ie/app/uploads/2019/07/EQ-Conference-Agenda-2020_Web.pd). Recommendations were made and a plan is being put in place to action them. The Equality Officer worked with LGBT+ members past and present to produce a docufilm expressing their lived workplace experiences ‘Lived Workplace Experiences of LGBT+ Teachers in Ireland’ (viewable at https://www.into.ie/events/conferences/equality-conference/webcast-2020-archive/). 4. Member Professional Development Course To complement this work INTO Learning worked with the LGBT+ Teachers Group to design an online professional development course for members entitled Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive School. The course comprised 5 modules as follows: • Module 1: LGBT+ Identities and Visibility • Module 2: Understanding Gender Non-Conformity and Gender Transition • Module 3: Preventing and Dealing with Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying • Module 4: Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive Classroom • Module 5: Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive School Over 460 members engaged in this course during July 2020. 5. Good LGBT+ Inclusion practice animations Four short animations were commissioned to exemplify good LGBT+ inclusion practice in schools. The animations were as follows: • Teacher, what does gay mean? • Teacher, Lucas wants to marry Tom! • Supporting a child socially transitioning • Addressing an incident of LGBT+ based bullying These animations were used in the online Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive School online professional development course and on the union’s webpage for member access 6. INTO Policy on Pronouns The Executive of INTO adopted the following policy on pronouns in August 2020: That INTO adopts the following as policy on the working use of gender pronouns with appropriate training being provided to support the implementation of the policy. a) all INTO documents and communications use gender inclusive language (he/she/they) b) the gender of members is only asked for when necessary and when this information is required a wide range of responses is allowed for (e.g. male/female/non-binary/transgender male/transgender female/transgender etc.) c) all INTO email signatures include an indication of gender e.g. (she/her), (he/him), or (they/them) 7. INTO Executive, Officers and Staff Training An online webinar on LGBT+ inclusion was provided to the INTO Executive, Officers and Staff Training to increase LGBT+ inclusion awareness among the and support the implementation of the INTO Policy on Pronouns (December 2020)

Results

• Increase in member awareness of LGBT+ inclusion • Increase in LGBT+ teacher confidence • Increase in LGBT+ inclusion strategies being implemented in schools

Funding

• Internal funding • A grant from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission was received to produce the docufilm • A course fee was charged for the Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive School course to support course design and facilitation costs

Links

Ireland
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