Safe Schools Coalition Australia is a national coalition of schools dedicated to creating safe and inclusive learning environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families. (from the Safe Schools Website)
Here is an infographic showing the reach of this programme.
Many organisatons support the aims of the programme including Beyond Blue. Safe Schools offer eight practical ideas for schools who wish to be inclusive of their LGBTI. Safe Schools present an introductory guide to supporting LGBTI students and promoting inclusion in schools. Here you can find key research and practical information.
This programme has come under attack recently – Here is a statement from the Safe Schools Coalition. I commend this blog post from Yathink.com.au on the politics and controversy surrounding the issue.
In the context of the Safer Online Day UK, CILIP the Association for LIS professionals contributed this. I particularly liked this statement.
“Schools need to provide safe and secure environments where students are able to explore issues of sexuality and gender identity without fear of reprisals. Teenagers have enough pressures on them today without the added stress that being queer can bring and in a bullying, homophobic environment they are unlikely to learn, achieve or develop their full potential. A whole-school approach is needed with strong anti-bullying and anti-homophobia policies, as well as support strategies. The school library has an enormous role to play in this agenda by providing a safe space and a wide range of accessible resources, both of which need to be openly promoted.” Barbara Band – Immediate Past President of CILIP and Head of Library & Resources, The Emmbrook School, Berkshire
My current school, and my last two schools have all been Safe Schools and have had inclusive and supporting agendas. I am concerned about the current political debate and the impact that it will have on young people dealing with Gender and sexuality issues. As a gay teacher I also find it personally undermining.