About Inclusive Education WA
Please see our media release from 9 October, 2020 here which explains our current funding position for this valuable program.
Inclusive Education WA is funded by the Western Australian Department of Education to provide professional development and support to principals, teachers and support staff to understand the individual needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Intersex (LGBTI) students in Western Australian public schools. We are hosted by the WA AIDS Council and are equipped to provide free professional learning, support, advice, and resources to metropolitan, regional, and remote schools in WA. Inclusive Education WA supports educators who want to ensure that their school environment is safe and inclusive for the same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse (SSAIGD) young people in their care.
The Western Australian public-school system develops inclusion, equity, and excellence by fostering the wellbeing and participation of all students. Inclusive Education supports this objective by helping schools to increase their support for and active inclusion of LGBTI+ students, staff, and families.
Inclusive Education WA supports the inclusion of LGBTI+ students by providing the following specialist services:
- Staff professional development and learning
- Advice and guidelines about how to best support transgender or gender diverse students
- Inclusive policy templates and examples
- Resource development and distribution
- Inclusive curriculum examples and resources
- Guidance about supporting student-led alliance groups
To stay up to date and receive information about upcoming professional development sessions, join our mailing list here.
Why is the IEWA service needed?
LGBTI+ students, staff, and families are present in every school in WA. However, this diversity may not be visible or acknowledged in our school communities. Research shows that schools are the main place where LGBTI+ students experience high rates of bullying, harassment, exclusion, and discrimination. This negatively impacts their mental health, self-esteem, school attendance and educational outcomes. Importantly, we know that schools have the power to create change and positively impact the experiences of LGBTI+ students so that they can fully participate, and flourish.
Inclusive Education WA supports the aims of the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework, which envisages Australian schools as 'learning communities that promote student wellbeing, safety and positive relationships so that students can reach their full potential.' The key elements of leadership, inclusion, support, partnership and student voice are identified as being important to achieving that vision.
Regarding inclusion, schools are required to ‘respect the diversity of the school community and implement proactive strategies to build a cohesive and culturally safe school.’ That includes engaging in ‘professional learning to build capacity for enhancing the social, emotional and learning outcomes of all students.’ Schools are encouraged to build a ‘whole school systemic approach to wellbeing and positive behaviour with tiers of support to meet the diverse needs of staff, students and families.’
Inclusive Education WA provides specialist professional development and learning to school staff, including how to build a whole-school approach to supporting LGBTI+ students so that they can feel safe, belong, and learn optimally.
What Inclusive Education WA offers:
|Staff Professional Development|
IEWA has developed a suite of professional development presentation for staff that cover the basics of LGBTI+ student care as well as offering optional specialist modules that consider more complex student needs (e.g., Transgender and Autism Spectrum Disorder, Suicide Prevention). IEWA’s staff development presentations draw on current research and best practice knowledge to build school staff member’s understanding, knowledge and confidence in supporting LGBTI+ students. They include practical tips and strategies for creating positive change. Please get in touch with Tyler to request a list of our PD session options.
|Support for Schools with Transgender and Gender Diverse Students|
IEWA provides tailored support for schools with transgender or gender diverse students wanting to affirm their gender at school. Our resource, Guide to Supporting Students to Affirm their Gender at School is a helpful for considering the areas where students may need extra support or flexibility. IEWA staff can also provide individualised support to schools in planning for the care of LGBTI+ students and their families. Please get in touch with Miriam to request a phone consultation or a school visit.
|Advice and Consultation|
When LGBTI+ students, staff and families are explicitly protected by school policies, it is easier to follow up on inappropriate behaviour/language, staff feel more confident enforcing policies, families know what the expectations are, and students feel safer. Contact us for an inclusive policy template, examples from schools that have inclusive policies in place, or to discuss your policy options and needs.
|Support for Individual Staff Members|
School staff from any public school can contact Inclusive Education WA for information or advice on creating a more inclusive school environment. Staff members get in touch with IEWA for a variety of reasons including accessing inclusive reading lists, troubleshooting, planning an LGBTI+ event, responding to a student request, and supporting parents. We are happy to help and are only an email or a phone call away.
Inclusive Education WA can also provide inclusive school survey and audit tools, ideas for inclusive sports events, formals or balls, curriculum advice, and guidance for supporting student-led initiatives such as alliance groups and LGBTI+ events and special days.
|Inclusive Education WA Member Schools|
Inclusive Education WA offers free membership to schools that want to commit to creating more inclusive school environments. Membership enables schools to make a visible commitment to supporting their LGBIT+ students, staff and families.
By becoming a member school, schools commit to building learning environments that do not tolerate homophobic and transphobic bullying and are safe and inclusive for the whole school community. If your school is interested in becoming a member school, you can begin the process by completing our School Membership Form.
|Resource Development and Distribution|
We have a wide range of best practice resource guides for school staff that provide comprehensive guidelines on creating more inclusive school environments. We can provide schools with a range of free resources, including posters, badges, and stickers to help schools support and celebrate LGBTI+ diversity. Please contact Tyler to get hard-copy resources sent out to your school.
If we do not have a resource that meets your needs, please get in touch as we can likely find something that will help.
All of Us – This inclusivity guide maps onto the Australian Year 7/8 Health and Physical Education curriculum and assists staff to teach about LGBTI+ diversity in the classroom. It focuses on helping students build awareness and understanding of diversity in the community and it fosters empathy. ‘All of Us’ includes supporting educational videos that can be used in the classroom. Please contact us for a copy of the ‘All of Us’ curriculum resource.
First Day Teaching Toolkit – IEWA can provide copies of the Australian Children Television Network’s ‘First Day Teaching Toolkit’. Designed for Year 6 and 7 students, this programme helps students to consider the transition to high school and inclusivity of transgender students. Please contact us for a copy and a link to the supporting video.
|Contact Inclusive Education WA|
If you would like to find out more about IEWA or need support/advice for yourself, your school or a student, please email Dr Miriam Brooker, IEWA Project Lead
To book professional development sessions or to order resources (badges, stickers, posters), please email Tyler Morgan, Project Officer
|Testimonials from Teachers, School Staff and Parents|
|Inclusive Education Resources||IEWA References||Small Words, Big Difference||Glossary of LGBTIQ+ Terms|
Inclusive Education WA would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of this country, throughout Australia. We pay respect to their indominable strength, resilience and connection to land and community. Their struggle is not in the past and continues on. We honour elders past, present and emerging. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the Wadjuk people of the Noongar nation as the traditional custodians of the land in which our office is located. Ngala kaaditj Wadjuk moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja.