Respect for All
Strathallan School has always aspired to be a place where education can be enjoyed and opportunities are provided for all. This looks a bit different in the 21st century but the School’s central ethos and core values remain as important in today’s fight for equality as they did over 100 years ago. Today, Strathallan takes these responsibilities very seriously, and our commitment to tackling inequality and promoting belonging and connectedness can be seen in everything we do, from our sector-leading pastoral care to an academic curriculum that promotes tolerance, fosters respect, and actively tackles inequality in our community and around the world.
Our values of Respect, Honesty, Hard Work, Kindness, Excellence and Humility are underpinned by the universal value of Love, naturally promoting inclusion, tolerance and diversity. By articulating and promoting these core values through assemblies, Chapel, the curriculum and the house tutoring and mentoring systems, the School seeks to encourage and engender within our community the behaviours and understanding that challenge prejudice based on race, ethnicity, religion, ability or identity.
We recognise that these complex issues cannot be resolved through any single action or initiative, and are committed to continued scrutiny and improvement in response to new evidence and discussions.
On Racism and BLM
In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd and subsequent mounting pressure on governments from the Black Lives Matter movement around the world, institutions have been subject to intense scrutiny over their roles in perpetuating or tackling inequality and dismantling systemic racism. The education system has a vital role to play in this. Strathallan has been and actively continues to examine and determine what more we can do to confront prejudice wherever it exists within our community. The following considerations are now explicitly part our ongoing discussions:
Seeking suggestions from the Inclusion and Diversity Committee’s for how the School can take forward and implement more explicitly our Equality agenda in tackling racism in all its forms and supporting our BAME pupils and staff.
- Reflecting on the content of the academic curriculum and seeking input from across the School community on how this content reflects current issues and discussions of race and racism.
- Discussing and making decisions about how we prepare pupils for life after school in a diverse and global society.
- Reviewing school policies and procedures relating to race, BLM, inclusion, diversity and the promotion of these issues.
- Including these issues in PSD at an earlier stage.
- Using Debating, Public Speaking, and other co-curricular activities to engage pupils in the ideas and issues that lead to better understanding of race, religion, cultural diversity and inclusion.
- Considering the Exam boards’ reading and text lists and lobbying where appropriate for the inclusion of culturally diverse and BAME authors.
- Reviewing current Library stock to ensure the promotion of materials that work in sympathy with and assist the policies of the school in relation to inclusion and diversity.
On Identity and Gender
Strathallan is committed to being fair and inclusive and to ensuring every member of our community feels safe, respected and valued during their time here. This means giving support and understanding to everyone, regardless of their sex, gender or identity. The School aims to actively create an LGBT+-inclusive culture, workplace and learning environment, free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect in their own gender identity and expression.
Strathallan expects all staff and pupils to be treated with kindness, honesty, fairness, dignity and respect. Our aim is to create a community that is supportive to such individual needs and provides a professional and consistent service so that all members of the school feel welcome, safe, valued and supported in achieving their potential and contributing as a member of the school. To achieve this, the School has committed to the following:
- Reviewing policies and procedures in relation to gender identity and expression in order to anticipate and positively respond to the needs of students, staff and alumni.
- Providing staff training in all related topics, including relevant legislation, safeguarding/Child Protection, confidentiality, gender identity and tackling transphobia.
- Creating a positive learning environment and reviewing curriculum content and teaching practices to support LGBTQ youth, affirm their identities, and advance equity and respect for all.
- Responding to concerns and handling any bullying or harassment as grounds for disciplinary action, which will be dealt with under the School’s disciplinary policies.
- Signing up to the LGBT Youth Scotland Schools Charter to ensure we’re proactively including young LGBT people in everything we do.
On Violence and Abuse
The Scottish Child Abuse Enquiry was established in 2015 to investigate historic allegations of violence and abuse in Scottish residential care environments, including a number of schools which were named individually. In 2020, the Everyone’s Invited campaign followed on from the #MeToo movement to call out rape culture in schools and univercities across the UK, gathering further momentum as conversations about female safety became forefront in the media following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard in early 2021. Whether historic or contemporary, schools have a moral obligation to take allegations of abuse, violence or exploitative culture seriously. Statistics published in the results of the Ofsted review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges in June 2021 revealed that 9 in 10 girls had experienced some form of sexual harassment, and the report recommended that all schools act on the assumption that sexual harassment is affecting their pupils and act comprehensively to tackle them.
Strathallan expects school to be a safe space for everyone, and seeks to achieve a culture with a zero-tolerance approach to harassment or abuse. Our objective is to ensure that everyone feels heard and protected, by shining a spotlight on problematic cultures, de- normalising nonconsensual or exploitative behaviours, and creating an environment where anyone can report or call out violence or harassment wherever they may encounter it. The Inclusion and Diversity Committee has committed to ensuring issues of respectful relationships, consent and equality and is taking the following actions as the first step of many:
- A review and update of the Personal and Social Development progranne to tackle the issues raised by #MeToo and Everyone’s Invited.
- The implementation of the Mentors in Violence Programme to raise awareness of gender-based violence and bullying.
- An internal consultation to reveal and dismantle any existing gender biases in practice within our school community.
All our staff receive training to handle concerns on all of these issues, and pupils should feel able to approach any member of staff and expect to be treated with sensitivity and respect.
The following resources may also help anyone who has concerns about the issues raised here:
NSPCC Report Abuse Helpline: 0800 136663