At PGS we have long been committed to celebrating difference. Since PGS Pride was first set up in 2013, the school has been unambiguous in its approach to diversity and inclusion, and we are continuing to grow in this area. Over the years, our focus has naturally broadened beyond gender and sexuality to include a celebration of racial and cultural differences, body and neuro diversity and much more.
In September we were delighted to launch PGS D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) with a programme of pupil and staff talks and a half termly newsletter. As founding members of the Schools’ Inclusion Alliance, we have been working with colleagues across the country and with local schools to listen, learn and develop initiatives to help every member of our community to thrive.
In the Spring we launched our anti-racism roadmap and audited pupils, staff and parents through the Race and Belonging Survey. Pupil consultations and staff working groups have also been feeding into the listening phase of the roadmap. As a result of this review, we are now in the development phase of the roadmap, focusing on the three key areas of Learning, Culture and Community. The Core group, which includes, pupils, parents and staff, has now met for a second time. The key areas of focus include:
- A D&I review of the academic curriculum
- A pupil-led review of the Pastoral Curriculum
- Work with the pupil councils and welfare groups
- The creation of an Equality Charter (written by pupils, for pupils)
- A review of the processes around racist (and other prejudicial) incidents
- Appointment of a Director of Diversity and Inclusion
- Pupil leadership – D&I ambassadors
- Staff training (anti-racism in April and gender equality and D&I in September)
- Relaunch of the PGS D&I talks
- Half termly D&I newsletter
- D&I review of the processes around recruitment and retention of staff
The death of Sarah Everard sparked a huge national conversation about rape culture and sexual violence, which is now informed by the publication of Ofsted’s Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges. As the report makes clear, this is an issue which runs through society, and schools have a vital role to play in keeping young people safe, working with others and not least with parents. In response to this, we launched our ‘Movement, not a Moment’ campaign and have been engaging pupils and OPs on these issues.
Chartered Clinical Psychologist Dr Parnell has been running open forums with pupils and staff and Mrs Morgan and Mr Fisher have run pupil seminars. This issue has also been a key focus in pupil councils and welfare committees with pupils in all senior year groups able to engage in small group discussions; our senior pupils are developing peer-to-peer programmes, as they have done so successfully in the area of Anti-Racism; and our Head of Pastoral Curriculum has undertaken a scheduled full pupil-led review of our programmes, with enhanced sessions dedicated to these issues. . We are committed to drawing our community together and to finding positive and empowering ways of moving forward. We are looking forward to continuing this work next term.
From September 2021 Mrs Morgan will take on the new role of Director of Diversity and Inclusion and we are excited to continue to strengthen our work in this essential area. It has also been fantastic to nurture pupil leadership roles and our D&I Ambassadors (pictured above) have been doing fantastic work to promote D&I both within the school and beyond.