Fostering an inclusive community

The School has been awarded bronze-level Champion School status by the gay rights’ campaigning and lobbying organisation Stonewall – and now aims to work towards silver.

The School Champions programme requires participants to provide evidence that they offer an inclusive learning environment, enabling pupils and staff to celebrate differences and challenge prejudice. QE’s application was put together by Sarah Westcott, Head of Pupil Progression.

“We were delighted to receive the Bronze award,” said Dr Westcott. “QE is a forward-looking school which is committed not only to educating our boys to the highest possible standard, but also to producing young men who are confident, able and responsible. This clearly includes ensuring that they are sensitive to issues surrounding acceptance and inclusion and the celebration of individuality.”

""Pupils have taken part in lessons in their personal development time which have specifically looked at the issue of homophobic bullying, the need to use respectful language and the importance of not becoming a bystander but instead standing up to all forms of bullying and name-calling. Pupils also discussed the broader topic of sexuality and sexual stereotypes.

The boys looked at the campaigning work of Stonewall, and discussed what made the charity so effective. As part of this, they undertook a project to design an awareness campaign about different sexualities.

To receive the award, the School had to demonstrate that:

  • Inclusive policies are in place explicitly addressing homophobic bullying
  • Students know homophobic language is unacceptable
  • Lessons have included LGBT issues
  • Local/national support services for LGBT young people are advertised
  • Library books are available with LGBT themes
  • There are posters and displays highlighting LGBT issues and role models
  • Training is in place for teaching staff
  • Homophobic bullying is recorded and monitored.

""Posters were put up in The Queen’s Library pointing pupils to information about sexuality and relationship advice, and age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction works have been displayed.

“When we were informed by Stonewall that we had been awarded the bronze-level status, the charity also told us that we had fulfilled some of the criteria for the silver award, too,” said Dr Westcott. “In fact, as our ethos embraces diversity and inclusion, our aim is now to work towards the next level.”