Rainbow Ripples


#WomenEd has been making ripples since April 2015

#BAMEed has been making ripples since January 2017 

#LGBTed launched last week - July 2017

The ripples that grassroots organisations are making when it comes to diversity and equality in education excites me.

It makes me proud to be an educator and a diversity, equality and inclusion advocate.

Each of these group of diverse and inclusive educators promoting inclusion and celebrating difference have connected and collaborated. 

Together we are stronger. Together we are bolder. Together we are louder.

As the CPD and Safeguarding Network Leader in my last role I made some great connections at organisations who could provide training and support for staff who didn't really know where to start with challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools. 

As a society and as a profession it seems that we are more confident challenging racism than homophobia.

I have had many a conversation with students, BAME male students in particular, about homophobia over the years. For me prejudice is prejudice. We need to challenge it all, in all shapes and sizes. 

I have led the racism assemblies despite working with BAME educators. I have led the LGBT+ assemblies despite working with LGBT+ educators.

Why is it more palatable when a straight white woman delivers these messages?

Through #womened I met and followed @clairestoneman‍ who has done some fantastic work with an organisation called Educate and Celebrate. I had the privilege of meeting Dr Elly Barnes at Inspiring Leadership this year and I have signed our school up to be a member.

As a headteacher I have thought a lot about our Equalities Policy and how to make our school as inclusive as possible. I want our school to be a safe space, a space where each individual shows up as a whole person, who does not feel a need to hide parts of their identity. That goes for staff as well as students.

I have many friends who are visibly BAME so can't hide from it but many others who hide their sexuality through fear of prejudice. How many schools are safe, supportive spaces for staff be themselves, to be open about their sexual orientation?

The transgender icons in the toilets  has been an interesting conversation starter with my builders for starters!

The language we are using at Aureus is to promote "acceptance" instead of "tolerance". I don't want my staff and students to be tolerated as that is very different to being accepted. I want our community to be accepting of one another. I want staff and students to be comfortable in their skin. I want our pledge to educate the whole child to translate into us seeing the whole person in all of our stakeholders.

I hope that everyone gets behind the launch of #LGBTed like they have supported the launch of #womened  #bameed.

Helpful links I recommend to develop your LGBT+ provision at your school:   

Mosaic Youth: mosaicyouth.org.uk/

Mermaids: www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

Educate Celebrate: www.educateandcelebrate.org/

Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk/

Out Teacher: www.outteacher.org/

Author Profile

Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson

Executive Headteacher | DfE Coach | #WomenEd Co-Founder | SLE | NPQML/SL facilitator | NPQH | Governor | Leadership Matters Ambassador

238 stories


Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 4 months ago
Count me in, sign me up , brilliant post
Daniel Gray Daniel Gray @thatgayteacher 4 months ago
Fantastic post!
Pran  Patel Pran Patel @mrpatel 4 months ago
Diversity benefits us all and more importantly prejudice hurts everyone of us - you have my voice and my heart.
Lisa Hannay Lisa Hannay @lisahan 4 months ago
Clearly so important for students to see "the rainbow" in their teachers. I think if I had known about some of my teachers being gay, the road for me might have had fewer twists. Then again gay youth and adults have to accept themselves first. That can be a bumpy road. Support from across the pond is yours!
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 4 months ago
Brilliant Hannah. Growing up in Cornwall in the 80s I was very 'sheltered' from BAME adults and children- in fact I remember when the first black kid started at my secondary school. Zikke Makakula was his name and I thought he was the cleverest kid I'd ever met! His Dad was a doctor so he had to be clever! But interestingly my music teacher was openly gay and it meant that acceptance amongst students and staff was expected and received. He was beyond cool so that helped I'm sure. I want my students and staff to be surrounded by such openness that acceptance is the norm.
Flora RH Richards Flora RH Richards @cupacoco 4 months ago
Such useful links. Let's hope all schools will learn from your leadership and follow suit!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 4 months ago
Thanks for comments - started conversations & now hosting Diverse Educators on 6/1. Hope you can all join us? Live on eventbrite
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