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Archbishop Sancroft High School becomes part of Stonewall's Champions programme to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying

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Year 11 pupils Molly Andrews and Artem Denney. Picture by Mark Bullimore.
Year 11 pupils Molly Andrews and Artem Denney. Picture by Mark Bullimore.

A Harleston school has become part of a nationwide programme to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

Archbishop Sancroft High School has signed up to Stonewall’s Champions programme, which the charity has designed to create an inclusive and accepting culture within institutions and wider society.

Head of student support Catherine Adams said: “We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to support all members of our community.

“Recently, we’ve had students who joined us who recognise themselves as being part of the LGBT+ community and I, therefore, requested some training to make sure that we could meet their needs.”

Before signing up for the programme, the school had already provided gender-neutral toilets and spread awareness over using correct pronouns. Around 15 of the 400 students identify as LGBT+.

“We want to be all-inclusive and the programme is making our school a place where students and staff are accepted without exception and I love that,” said Mrs Adams.

Being part of the programme means receiving resources and support, such as lesson ideas and the opportunity to host lesbian, gay, bi and trans speakers.

As ASHS is a Church of England School, it was the Diocese of Norwich which organised Mrs Adams’ training as part of the Champions programme.

She said: “On reflection, I have wondered whether people have not come to our school as a high school choice because we are a Church of England School and people might think that we wouldn’t accept students. So, we want to get the message out that we are very inclusive.”

Feedback from parents and students has been positive so far.

“Some families are a bit lost on how to support their child and knowing that they can come and talk to staff at the school has had a positive impact on their children’s wellbeing,” said Mrs Adams.

A Stonewall spokeswoman said: “We’re thrilled to have Archbishop Sancroft High School on board as one of our school champions. Our work with schools helps teachers to address anti-LGBT discrimination and create more welcoming environments where all young people feel able to be themselves.”

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