The Ministry of Education has released a new guide for supporting sex, sexuality and gender diverse students.
The Inclusive Education guides for schools provide strategies and suggestions for supporting youth and were created after consultation with a range of organisations including RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT.
There are four key areas covered in the guides; understanding sex, sexuality and gender diversity, creating inclusive school-wide systems and processes, addressing immediate environmental, physical, and social needs, and developing an inclusive classroom and curriculum.
RainbowYOUTH 2IC, Toni Duder says the guides are a roadmap of sorts.
“Often tasks like addressing a cultural shift in a school to a more accepting environment for any diverse group can be seen as too hard for schools which are often under-resourced and understaffed.
“A guide like this helps remind schools that addressing the needs of rainbow students is crucial to their well-being and academic performance.”
The guides are available online and can be accessed by schools as well as the general public, however, Duder says steps need to be taken to actively resource schools to help them make that cultural shift to inclusivity and celebration of rainbow identities.
“There needs to be support for schools and also now a move away from guidelines to measures which require schools to uphold their duty of care to their rainbow students.”