We love this sign that’s gone up in Birmingham’s Welford Primary School and wish other schools would follow the same example.
It’s even more remarkable considering that fact that the school, in the Handsworth district of the British city, was only recently inspected by Ofsted as part of its so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ investigation.
This was an investigation that followed allegations that Muslim hardliners were exerting undue influence in a small number of English schools and were adapting the curriculum to their own agenda: segregating boys and girls, banning sex education and spreading the teachings of radical clerics.
Ofsted [Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills] issued a report that found that the school’s safeguarding arrangements for pupils met requirements and praised Headteacher Jamie Barry’s, work in ‘valuing diversity and promoting inclusion at the heart of the school’s work’.
An example of that work can now be found in an innovative sign that adorns the schools walls, which staff feel proves that the institution goes beyond minimum requirements in celebrating diversity.
Displaying the protected characteristics outlined in the 2010 Equality Act, the sign says ‘At Welford we respect each other’s age, disabilities, gender, race, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation.’
As recent reports from by LGB-rights organization Stonewall have illustrated, many teachers – particularly in primary schools – are reluctant and wary of talking about sexual orientation.
Headteacher Jamie Barry from Welford Primary, who has led the initiative at the school stated: ‘We are preparing children to live in an extremely diverse world. At Welford, we feel that we shouldn’t shy away from talking about difference. Instead, we have an openness to discussing diversity and promoting respect for one another.’
Elly Barnes, CEO and Founder of Educate & Celebrate, works as the LGBT Schools Advisor for Birmingham City Council, and she praised Welford for the sign.
'My vision would be to have visible displays like this one in every school. If teachers hear any derogatory language, the school code on their walls works as a prompt to simply inform students that their behaviour is unacceptable.’