Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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To report a child's absence for years 7-11 please email or call 01454 862395.  For 6th Form please call 01454 862333.  

Staff Training and Development

Our aim is that all staff understand that Downend’s diversity, whether visible or invisible, is our greatest gift. We want them to feel confident and empowered to discuss issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. They should understand the benefits and responsibility of identifying, challenging, responding and reporting incidents of discrimination, in order to ensure all members of our school community are safe, happy and thriving.

In February 2020, following a piece of student voice, the thoughts and feelings of our students of colour were fed back to staff as the first step in an ongoing training programme for all staff.

In the academic year 2021-22, we launched a significant piece of training for all Senior and Pastoral Leaders as well as our Head of Life Skills and other key staff, which aimed to initiate wholesale changes in the way that diversity was sought and understood in our school. In order to do so, Angie Browne of Being Luminary joined us for 7 half day sessions across the year. More details about Angie and her work can be found here: About — Being Luminary

This training was disseminated during this and the following academic year, with whole staff training on DEI Literacy, Effectively Challenging Discriminatory Incidents, Microaggressions and feedback from further student voice, alongside regular staff and student-led briefings, covering a range of topics from World Hijab Day to wheelchair accessibility on aeroplanes. In January 2023, Talal Khan (, a specialist mentor we have worked with for many years, led a piece of training called Creating Safety, outlining trauma-informed approaches to working with our students.

In addition, a group of volunteers have completed further training with Talal in order to equip them with the skills to act as advocates for our young people, who may want someone to talk to. We are looking to make this more high profile with the creation of a ‘safe haven’ at lunch time for students to access, which will be staffed and supervised.

We also recognise the need to understand that DEI work begins with the self and that it is only through grappling with personal mindsets, philosophies and biases that real progress will be made.  Therefore, to further resource and train our staff we set up and continue to update a social justice library that contains many titles.  This library is open and available to all staff and staff are frequently reminded of this resource.

We look forward to continuing to build on this training, with targeted work in the next academic year and beyond.