In a richly diverse culture such as the UK the need to demonstrate inclusion and equal opportunities for all has never been more important. As we welcome pupils, parents, and staff to our schools from a range of backgrounds, cultures, and heritages we recognise differing beliefs and values, acknowledging both the benefits diversity can bring and the potential challenges.
Full Circle are supporting schools and youth settings to promote equality and diversity, as well as tackle the important issue of homophobia, by setting up Gay Straight Alliances (GSA’s).
Gay-Straight Alliances are youth-led groups that bring together pupils who may identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) with their straight counterparts, to educate pupils about the effects of homophobia and create a more inclusive environment for all members of the school community.
A message delivered by peers is more likely to be heard and understood, and creating an alliance helps young LGBT people or those questioning their sexuality to feel included and safe within their schools and communities. GSA’s help to deliver an anti-homophobia message by delivering assemblies and PSE lessons to other pupils, creating poster campaigns, or making videos about peoples’ rights.
Full Circle can set up a GSA in your school, with help to recruit pupils to join the group, awareness-raising training for participants to ensure they understand equality and diversity issues, and help to start their campaign. Contact us for more information, and read more about the pilot GSA’s here.
Launch of the Gay-Straight Alliance Good Practice Guidance
Full Circle and our partners Cardiff Council and the Cardiff and Vale Community Cohesion Co-ordinator have developed a comprehensive good practice guidance document to help schools and youth settings to start their own Gay-Straight Alliances. This guidance explores the background and rationale for establishing GSAs, explores the research and findings from our pilot, and includes all the curriculum and activities we used to establish GSAs.
This guidance was launched at The Senedd by Jeff Cuthbert, Assembly Member for Communities and Tackling Poverty on February 20th 2014.
Full Circle can also support primary schools to promote equality and diversity and tackle homophobia.