Celebrating Inclusivity: Abbot’s Lea School Completes Skilled Teacher and Pastoral Support Sections of Rainbow Flag Award Programme

Following our previous announcement in February, Abbot’s Lea School has continued to make great strides towards achieving greater inclusivity as part of our commitment to the Rainbow Flag Award programme. Today, we are delighted to announce that we have completed the next two sections of the programme, earning badges for Skilled Teacher and Pastoral Support.

The Skilled Teacher section focused on equipping our 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.

In her review, Dr Sara Muršić, Head of Autism Research and Development, commented, “The Skilled Teacher section has allowed us to significantly raise the bar in terms of our staff’s LGBT+ awareness. We are proud of the efforts our team has put into fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity.”

Following the Skilled Teacher badge, Abbot’s Lea School has also successfully completed the Pastoral Support section. This 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 our school website with relevant information and support.

A reflection from a staff member on the training offered by YPAS, an organisation supporting young people’s mental health, highlighted the effectiveness of the training. It has equipped staff with a deeper understanding of LGBT+ identities and the experiences of the wider community.

A standout component of our pastoral support is the introduction of an LGBT pastoral support handbook. This resource offers information on different identities, support channels, and methods of self-care and exploration, underlining our school’s readiness to support LGBT+ students comprehensively.

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By successfully completing the Skilled Teacher and Pastoral Support sections of the Rainbow Flag Award programme, Abbot’s Lea School has shown its unwavering commitment to promoting LGBT+ inclusion and visibility. We remain one of the first special schools in Liverpool to participate in the programme, and we hope our efforts continue to inspire others.

As we move forward, we will continue to enhance our school policies, practices, and environment to ensure they are safe and welcoming for everyone. We believe that by promoting diversity and inclusion, we can contribute to a more accepting world, and we are proud to be part of this journey.