Challenging Discriminatory Behaviour
We aim to create an inclusive environment where our students and parents trust that all forms discrimination will be identified, challenged, responded to appropriately and recorded; and where victims and perpetrators receive the support they need following an incident of discrimination.
When our initial student voice in 2019 identified the need for a more consistent approach to challenging discriminatory behaviour, this was one of our early priorities. We started by identifying and categorising the different types of discriminatory behaviour, from microaggressions and graffiti to verbal and physical abuse and thought carefully about the ways in which members of our community can become aware of discriminatory incidents. This led us to create a simple, 3-step ‘walk through’: stepping-in and challenging; taking immediate action and logging and then following up.
Staff knowledge and confidence is always key in ensuring successful implementation, and so time was given in whole-school training slots and micro-scripts were supplied in order to ensure incidents were challenged consistently. We return to these guidelines at regular intervals in training slots.
In 2022, staff advocates were introduced. These members of staff have received specific training from our specialist mentor, Talal Khan, and are advertised to students as key people to talk to.
More recently, we have been working with students in order to address bystander culture. It is vital that students, as well as staff actively foster a sense of belonging; do not ignore any form of discrimination or abuse; are vigilant in identifying discrimination or prejudice and recognise that ridicule or ‘banter’ is not acceptable. To this end, we have introduced anti-bullying ambassadors and following further student voice in the Spring term of 2023, we are making bystander culture a school improvement priority.