Primary school deputy headteacher Shaun Dellenty endured years of being bullied as a gay teenager, but the experience inspired him to promote inclusion.
After 15 years of witnessing school staff unable or unwilling to prevent LGBT+ bullying, Shaun devised Inclusion For All. It’s pioneering training has featured in the national press and on television, reaching 8,700 school staff with 98% of delegates rating IFA training outstanding.
Over Christmas 2010 Shaun wrote the Inclusion for All (IFA) teacher training program, using his experiences as a bullying survivor and a school leader. The training increases confidence amongst school communities and helps shift a school’s culture and ethos to promote LGBT+ inclusion.
Shaun recounts his journey in assemblies across the UK and he has advised on policy at Westminster. He is currently touring an anti-homophobia schools play called ‘BOY’ and will be working with police and school leaders on the Isle of Man later this year. The training programme was awarded the Southwark Good Practice Award in 2013 and Shaun was voted one of the ‘101 most influential LGBT figures in the UK’ in 2012 and 2013. At the National Excellence in Diversity Awards 2016 Shaun won the ‘Education Champion’ category. In May 2016 Shaun was honoured at Southwark Cathedral by the Mayor of Southwark who presented him with the Mayor’s Special Award for services to education.
He has now been honoured for his work with a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister which was presented to him at Downing Street last night.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Shaun’s anti-bullying programme ‘Inclusion for All’ is having a fantastic impact on increasing awareness of homophobia in schools. By equipping teachers to speak to children about these issues he is helping to make sure future generations will not face the prejudice that he and many others in the LGBT community had to endure. I am delighted to recognise Shaun as the UK’s 529th Point of Light.”
“To be recognised as a Point of Light by the Prime Minister is an unexpected and incredible honour. I am heartened that this potentially lifesaving work is being recognised at the highest level and I trust this sends a clear message to all our school leadership teams that all of our amazing young people have a right to be safe and successful in our schools, regardless of identity or orientation; there can be no exceptions. Bullying and prejudice of any kind has no place in our learning communities and all young people have a basic Human Right under the Convention of Rights of the Child to be educated safely; this includes those who are LGBT+ and indeed those who are bullied for being perceived to be ‘different’ in some way. The Equality Act and OFSTED framework thankfully support this stance but many schools lack confidence and training in tackling these issues positively. Diversity without inclusion for all leaves young people vulnerable and until schools are safe spaces for everyone my work will continue”.