InsideOUT Kōaro is proud to release three new resources produced with support from the Ministry of Education, each focusing on a different aspect of supporting young people with diverse sexualities, genders and variations in sex characteristics to be themselves at school.
Over the last few years InsideOUT Kōaro has seen growing requests from schools across Aotearoa for guidance on supporting rainbow students. These resources have been developed in response to these requests, and aim to provide school staff with the information they need to make positive changes for rainbow students. As the Youth19 survey findings show, rainbow young people are more likely to experience bullying and discrimination, mental health challenges, and feel less safe at school than their non-rainbow peers.
“We’ve seen a massive shift over the last ten years in how schools are responding to the needs of their rainbow students,” said Tabby Besley, Managing Director of InsideOUT Kōaro. “Though there is still a long way to go, more and more schools are realising the need to create safe and inclusive school communities, especially for their trans and non-binary students.”
Creating Rainbow-Inclusive School Policies and Procedures provides guidance and policy examples for school boards and staff to adapt to their unique school and learning environment. This document is the first of its kind in Aotearoa and provides valuable information on considering how rainbow students’ experiences are named and defined in governance and day-to-day operations.
Victoria Marsden, a guidance counsellor and Head of Student Services at Hobsonville Point Secondary School, says: “It is fantastic to see this much needed resource come to fruition. As educators, it is our responsibility to make sure school policies and procedures do all they can to acknowledge and protect our rainbow rangatahi.”
Making Schools Safer is the second edition of InsideOUT’s resource first published in 2016. It provides up-to-date information for school staff on the key issues for trans, gender diverse and intersex young people at school, and offers practical advice on addressing areas of school life such as uniforms and facilities, curriculum and sports teams. This resource was co-written with Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand.
Staff Supporting Rainbow Diversity Groups is a brand-new resource for staff who support, or would like to support, their school’s queer straight alliance or rainbow diversity group. These groups play an important role in many rainbow young people’s wellbeing. This resource offers comprehensive information on how to support your group at whatever stage they are at.
The guidance provided in all three resources is based on the experiences of staff, rainbow young people and whānau who InsideOUT Kōaro have worked with since our organisation began in 2012. We hope that these resources will help schools to continue the important work they are already doing for rainbow young people in Aotearoa.
Alongside these resources, InsideOUT Kōaro provides tailored support to schools through our team of regional Schools Coordinators, professional learning development and campaigns such as Schools Pride Week.