The Rainbow Flag Award

Jul 18, 2021 by

from Transgender Trend:

The Rainbow Flag Award scheme is an alternative version of the Stonewall School Champions scheme. Their teaching is a prime example of the overtly political material referenced in the recently published Ofsted article about the Equality Act ‘Research commentary: teaching about sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment’:

“The Act was contentious from the outset for certain groups, particularly in relation to characteristics relating to sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. The increasing political sensitivities in these areas have made it harder for schools to handle equalities well. For example, school staff can occasionally confuse the legal, the moral and the political, and so (often inadvertently) bring overtly political materials into their curriculum and teaching without acknowledging it as such, despite the statutory requirement of political neutrality.”

Research commentary: teaching about sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment

In this report, Shelley Charlesworth examines the ideological and political teaching of the Rainbow Flag package.

The Rainbow Flag franchise

The Rainbow Flag Award scheme is an LGBT scheme for schools sold as a package of policies, lesson plans, RSE resources and anti-bullying measures. It operates as a franchise, with the package being delivered locally by different LGBT partner organisations across England.

The scheme began life as 3-year pilot in 2017, led by the Manchester based charity, The Proud Trust, in collaboration with three other regionally-based charities, the Kite Trust in Cambridge, Brighton-based Allsorts, and humankind, in the North East.

It was financed from a £4.4 million fund, a joint venture by the Department for Education and Government Equalities Office [1] which was set up to tackle bullying in schools.

The Proud Trust’s annual returns show that they received £359,266 from the DfE/GEO over the three years of the pilot, which they then redirected in varying amounts to the other partners in the scheme.

Schools taking part in the pilots were offered ‘free’ training and resources. humankind (then operating as DISC) promoted the scheme as meeting the “needs of LGBT young people, given the wealth of evidence showing that LGBT young people are still disproportionately affected by mental health issues and teen suicide.” The Kite Trust saw it as an “opportunity to increase our presence in local schools.” [2] 46 Cambridge schools took part with 23 of them being given the full award.

It is now up and running as a paid for service with its own website [3] and describes itself as a “national quality assurance framework for primary schools, secondary schools, SEND schools and colleges.”  For £495.00 a year each school will get two places on “starter LGBT+ inclusion training” plus access to free classroom resources, “ongoing support” and flags and flyers. Some resources, like the RSE materials, have to be paid for additionally. The school’s work will be reviewed “with detailed feedback.” Then once the RFA is awarded, it is valid for two further years. After that the school will have to renew.

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