Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

news & events

Every child’s right

01 December 2011

The Alliance for Inclusive Education has secured cross party support for an Early Day Motion (EDM) on Inclusive Education. EDM 2481, celebrating 30 years of inclusive education, has now been tabled and is ready for MPs to sign.

Early Day Motions (EDMs) express issues put forward for debate in the House of Commons “on an early day", i.e. an unspecified date in the future. In practice, very few are actually debated. Instead, EDMs act as a mechanism for MPs to draw attention to something important and for other MPs to register their support by signing.

Please take a few minutes to ask your MP to sign EDM 2481. You can contact your MP by going to http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/ and entering your postcode. MPs need to keep signing in order for the EDM to stay live.

If you only have 30 seconds, you can send a simple message along the lines of: “please sign EDM 2481 and confirm your commitment to disabled children’s right to a good education in their local community.” If you can spare a few more minutes, you can also say why you think this is important.

EDM 2481 marks the 30th anniversary of the Education Act 1981, when for the first time parents were allowed to state a preference for an ordinary local school for their disabled child. The Act, which was passed with all-party support, specified the role of ordinary schools in meeting what it called “special educational needs” and recommended that children with labels of “special educational need” are educated in ordinary schools, as long as a number of conditions are met, including the wishes of the parents. Please ask your MP to stand up for disabled children’s right to inclusive education and celebrate this important anniversary.

The full text of EDM 2481, 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EDUCATION ACT 1981, appears below:

"That this House recognises the significant progress that has been made in the 30 years since the Education Act 1981 passed through Parliament with all-party support; notes that through an effective partnership between parents, schools, children and young people, education professionals and local authorities, inclusive education practice has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of disabled and non-disabled children; and believes that this legislation has played an important and positive role in building a society that values diversity and enables disabled people to realise their aspirations and make a positive contribution to society."

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Praise for CSIE's Trans Equality Training

14 November 2011

CSIE delivered a bespoke training session to staff at the University of the West of England around delivery and implementation of their transgender equality policy and guidance for staff and students.

CSIE Trans Equality Training

The three hour session delivered on Tues 8th November was attended by a range of staff across faculties, including administrators, members of HR, the Equality and Diversity Unit and Student Support.

The session was split into three main parts:

  1. Language and terminology around trans identities.
  2. The implications of the Equality Act upon the university as both a service provider and employee.
  3. In depth case studies .

The case studies component of the session gave staff a chance to directly engage with the policies and think about how the university might be experienced by a range of characters with differing transgender identities.

Feedback from the session was overwhelmingly positive:

"Very interesting, especially procedural framework"

"Very interesting and informative, useful to learn about different terminology"

"I liked the opportunity to interact"

"The case studies covered a broad range"

"The trainer is clearly knowledgeable in this area and gave a clear presentation"

"Very useful - right balance between information and practical"

"Very knowledgeable and an interesting and passionate presentation"

"the trainer was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic"

"The course content was a good mix of information and activities"

"I was kept motivated with group work and found it useful to exchange ideas and understanding"

"Excellent. Really interesting and helped me develop my knowledge"

All participants felt that they would use what they had learnt in the workplace, that the course supported their personal development, that the length and pace of the programme was excellent or good, and had allowed them to both share and gain knowledge, information and skills. All participants rated the CSIE trainer as "Very Good" or "Good".

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CSIE needs your help – 1

25 October 2011

Are you interested in working as a fundraiser for CSIE? We are looking for someone with a good track record in charity fundraising who can offer themselves for a short-term paid placement through the Vodafone World of Difference 2012 programme.

The Vodafone World of Difference programme gives people across the UK the chance to work for a charity of their choice and get paid for it. The placements are for two months on a full-time basis or four months on a part-time basis. The deadline for applications is 22 November and the placements start in March 2012.

Please make sure you contact us before applying, so we can have a chat about what we’re looking for and how you can best contribute to CSIE.

For the online application you’ll be asked for: your details, information on us and a bit of background on where and how you think you could make a difference. If you’re chosen, you’ll be invited to an induction in February and your placement will begin in March 2012.

Thank you for considering this, we look forward to hearing from you.

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CSIE needs your help – 2

25 October 2011

CSIE Display Board CSIE is looking to replace our much-loved but seriously old and extortionately heavy display board pictured here at the nasen-live event last May. The carrying box was recently damaged, so we are no longer able to take the display with us at talks or training events.

We have got our eye on a multi-screen display board, an eco banner-stand and a literature stand but need the support of Marler Haley, who are generously offering vouchers to one lucky charity, and of CSIE supporters who may be able to help us raise the additional £600 needed. Please visit Charity Choice to make a donation.

Winning the Marler Haley vouchers and being able to get these display products would be a triple boost for CSIE, as it would: a) provide much-needed financial help; b) acknowledge the importance of our work; and c) enable us to continue inspiring others to develop more inclusive schools.

Additional information: CSIE aims to improve education for children and young people at risk of discrimination, regardless of attainment, gender identity, ethnic/cultural background, impairment, or any other perceived or actual difference. Our biggest achievements include: influencing international legislation (CSIE was actively involved in writing Article 24 (Education) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities); providing information which empowers others to influence policy (e.g. our regular Trends reports); and producing resources to support inclusive school development (e.g. the Index for Inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools, substantially revised and expanded in 2011; this is an accessible, flexible and practical resource for principled school development.) CSIE receives no funding other than a small grant towards core costs from the Platinum Trust, due to end in March 2013.

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Parent View

20 October 2011

Ofsted has launched Parent View today, 20 October. This is a new website for parents to tell Ofsted their views about their child’s school, if it is a maintained school or an academy (including free schools). At the moment, parents cannot submit views on an independent school through this site.

Parents are invited to register to use the site, then select their child’s school and answer 12 simple questions, ranging from how happy and safe their child feels at school, to how well the school is led and managed. There are five possible responses for each question: strongly agree; agree; disagree; strongly disagree; and don’t know. There is no opportunity for parents to make any additional comments through this questionnaire.

Parent View is not designed to receive complaints about schools. If parents wish to make a complaint or have a serious concern about their child’s school, Ofsted have a separate complaints page.

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One School of Thought

20 September 2011

A new campaign has recently been launched in Northern Ireland, calling for an end to the division between Catholic and Protestant schools. The One School of Thought Campaign calls for a radical rethink of the education system, to secure a better future for children and young people. An open letter has recently been published and presented to Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Stormont. Events are being planned and comments from the public have been invited.

A strong call is emerging from parents of disabled children, or those said to have special educational needs, urging the campaign organisers to attend to the issue of schooling for disabled children. Forgetting, ignoring, or otherwise disregarding this important issue, these parents suggest, discriminates against their children. The campaign organisers have set out to “shape a system fit for the 21st Century in which all children learn and are taught together in their local area.” To do that, however, one cannot simply look through the lens of religion and ignore the lens of (dis)ability. As one mother put it: “Education, the opportunity for inclusive education for all, not just the able bodied, is what we should be striving for here.”

CSIE applauds the initiative to prompt educational reform in Northern Ireland, but urges those driving the campaign to listen to the growing call from parents of disabled children. Inclusive education for some but not others is simply not inclusive education.

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Hidden in plain sight

12 September 2011

A report published today, 12 September, by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reveals systemic institutional failure to tackle harassment of disabled people. Evidence from the EHRC inquiry shows that hundreds of thousands of disabled people regularly experience harassment or abuse but a culture of disbelief, or “collective denial” is preventing public authorities from tackling it effectively. The report, “Hidden in Plain Sight”, says that many disabled people have come to accept harassment – including verbal and physical abuse, theft and fraud, sexual harassment and bullying – as inevitable. The inquiry makes recommendations to public authorities on how to address the problems it has uncovered, which the EHRC plans to consult on before publishing a manifesto for change in the spring of 2012.

CSIE welcomes this report, painful reading though it makes, and encourages schools to promote disability equality in the curriculum and all other aspects of school life. The 2010 CSIE publication “Developing a single equality policy for your school: a CSIE guide” provides practical ideas of how this can be done.

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No Excuses

10 September 2011

A report published today, 10 September, by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has warned that some schools are breaking the law in their efforts to deal with challenging or disruptive behaviour. In “No Excuses: A review of educational exclusion”, the CSJ suggests that many pupils are being profoundly misunderstood and are being failed by our education system. The report exposes the extent to which some children feel unsafe in schools, and the impact of gang culture on their behaviour and education. Some schools are failing to comply with their legal obligations in respect of official exclusions, are carrying out unofficial illegal exclusions, or are otherwise failing to provide an acceptable level of pastoral care and education. In doing so, they may be failing to comply with their child protection and safeguarding obligations. The report analyses the weaknesses in the current system, which it says are being manipulated by some schools, and puts forward a number of recommendations. The report rightly claims that exclusion is damaging for the pupils concerned, as well as for wider society, and asserts that pupils should be supported to the greatest extent possible to stay within mainstream schools.

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e-Journal new issue

19 August 2011

The August edition of e-Include is now available. This is the monthly e-Journal of Inclusion Europe, covering news and information related to intellectual disabilities. For more information or to access the journal, please visit Inclusion Europe's Website.

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UK Disability History Month

18 August 2011

UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) runs from 22 November to 22 December. This year’s theme will be “Celebrating Our Struggle for Equality”.

A pre-launch event will be held on 22 September, venue to be confirmed. This will be an evening of commentary and presentations from renowned disabled authors, poets and activists, including:

The event will be chaired by Richard Rieser, UKDHM co-ordinator.

For more information on UK Disability History Month please see www.ukdisabilitymonth.com

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Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?

05 August 2011

The Commission on a Bill of Rights, an independent Commission established by the Government in March of this year, has launched a discussion paper entitled “Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?” This is the first step in the Commission’s programme of public consultation.

The deadline for responses is 11 November 2011. For more information, or to respond to the consultation, please see the Commission’s web pages.

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New resource available

01 August 2011

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched a new online resource to help public sector bodies meet their human rights obligations and implement good practice. It contains reviews of existing guidance, including accessible summaries, as well as examples of good practice and learning material on human rights.

The EHRC expects to further develop this resource over time and invites users to share feedback.

For more information and to access the resource please visit the EHRC website.

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Commitment to parental choice?

27 July 2011

The Department for Education has published today, 27 July, its final evaluation of the pilot projects on Individual Budgets for families with disabled children.

A series of pilot projects had been commissioned, to test out if the concept of Individual Budgets can be effectively applied in the context of additional educational provision for disabled children and young people.

The final report, published in three volumes, presents the findings from the first two years of the Individual Budgets for disabled children pilot programme. It covers an evaluation of the process, an assessment of outcomes for participating families, and a separate volume on overall implications and recommendations for the future.

The main evaluation reports are also accompanied by: a set of six case study reports, detailing the activities and progress made by each of the pilot sites; two thematic case study reports, focusing on resource allocation and the means by which safeguarding has been addressed in the Individual Budgets context; and a technical report.

CSIE welcomes the prospect of increased family involvement in planning educational provision for disabled children and young people. Individual Budgets alone, however, cannot make parental choice of school a reality in all areas. The capacity of mainstream schools to respond to the full diversity of learners has to increase, if all parents are to have a real choice of school. Until this happens, the “choice” of mainstream will continue to be unavailable to some parents, depending on where they live.

Further information on the Individual Budgets pilots and links to all reports are available on the DfE website.

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Revised index launched

24 May 2011

Conference Summary Evaluation

“It was a wonderful, creative and stimulating day. I am looking forward to working with my Norfolk County Council colleague to: collaborate, join up and enjoy our work on inclusion and sustainability. Thank you”. (Conference delegate)

“It was very a interesting conference raising issues that seem to offer a very realistic alternative and up to date”. (Conference delegate)

“A very useful day, especially hearing about different experiences with the Index and the workshops to ‘practice’ using the new version. Barbara Brokamp’s presentation was extremely useful, as was Judith Carter’s... It was useful to have presentations from SENCOs on what actually happened in their schools”. (Conference delegate)

Delegates came from a variety of fields but largely comprised of education practitioners with some representatives from organisations promoting non violence and equality. Amongst the latter these largely comprised of organisations with a focus on disability and LGBT issues. Education practitioners included post graduate students, teachers, lecturers, consultants, research fellows, PGCE teachers, SENCOs, Principle Consultants, Professors, Inclusion Heads from Local Authorities, Educations Advisors with NGOs, teaching union representatives and learning coordinators.

Delegates were greeted with a looped presentation of images and questions to stimulate their thoughts, along side refreshments and delegate packs. After initial introductions by Professor Roger Slee (Institute of Education) and Dr Em Williams (CSIE), Professor Tony Booth began the day talking about the revised Index and the thinking that has led to this in a talk entitled “A singular approach to developing education for a sustainable planet”. This was followed by a short break and then examples of the Index in use in a range of countries. Speakers were Professor Kari Nes from Norway’s Hedmark University College, Barbara Borkamp from Germany’s Montag Foundation for Youth and Society, Judith Carter, Senior Advisor and Inclusion Lead SEND, Norfolk County Children’s Services. Professor Nes’s presentation focused on the adaptation’s that have been made surrounding the Index in order to use it within Norway and she spent a lot of time unpicking the theoretical differences between a British and a Norwegian understanding of terms such as didactic and ‘bildung’ within her talk “Linking European traditions for developing curricula”. Ms Brokamp explained how the Index is used within Germany and emphasised the importance of the indicators and questions in her talk “Working with Schools and communities”. Ms. Carter spoke about the pilot project that she has been running across Norfolk on the revised third edition of the Index and introduced two colleagues, Cassie Beckett form Royden Primary School and Mike Colk from Heartease Primary School who have participated in the process. Each shared their own experiences of the Index process.

Lunch provided ample opportunity to network and mingle and the catering was widely praised, including the fact that bananas were fair-trade. Lunch was followed by an interactive/participatory session held by Mary Young from EDJI training entitled “Developing global citizenship through education” where she sought to turn conventional, oppressive thinking practices on their head drawing upon the Index as a supportive resource in this process. A space was left at the end of all presentations for questions and answers and these were widely used.

Afternoon workshop sessions were held in a range of break out spaces on the following areas: Global citizenship and democratic education (facilitated by Mary Young, Mike Yule and Barbara Brokamp); Responsiveness to gender and health promoting schools (facilitated by Em Williams); Values and rights based education and non-violent education (facilitated by Judith Carter and Sulochini Pather); Education for sustainability and transforming curricula (facilitated by Tony Booth and Kari Nes). The last two sessions detailed above proved to be especially popular. Representatives from each workshop fed briefly into the plenary session that immediately followed, while delegates were given a further chance to ask speakers any questions not already addressed.

23 May 2011

The third edition of the Index for inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools, by Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow, was launched at an international conference today, 23 May. The launch event, held at London University’s Institute of Education, was well attended and attracted an international audience; education practitioners travelled from Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Norway in order to take part in this event. Other delegates came from further afield, including India and the USA.

First published in 2000, the Index for inclusion is a practical resource for school self evaluation and improvement. It has been translated into 37 languages and is in use in many countries throughout the world. This new edition, substantially revised and expanded, builds on ten years of the Index in use, supporting educational development.

Inclusion in the Index is a principled approach to developing education and society. It concerns the development of cultures, policies and practices affecting everyone: children and adults; schools, families and communities. The revised Index promotes links between interventions in schools concerning values, rights, sustainability, democracy, citizenship and global citizenship, health promotion and curriculum review.

The revised Index for inclusion calls for the involvement of the whole school community in articulating the school’s values and in developing the school in line with these. It guides schools through a self-evaluation process focusing on creating inclusive cultures, producing inclusive policies and evolving inclusive practices. This new edition makes explicit the values that underpin the Index; has a new section on a curriculum informed by these values and which is relevant to all learners anywhere in the world; makes links with other educational initiatives based on these values more explicit; and clearly articulates how the Index can be used. Spiral bound for easier handling, the revised edition comes with a CD which provides an electronic version of the document and includes questionnaires that can be adapted to the context of individual schools. For more information please see www.csie.org.uk/resources/current.shtml#schoolsindex2011

Staff in primary and secondary schools piloting the third edition commented:

“Thought provoking, incredibly useful, challenging document.”

“A no-badge, non box-ticking, supportive system to help with a range of development activities including school reorganisation.”

“Easy to dip into or read all the way through; it’s your self-evaluation done for you but in a far better way.”

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Values into action: making alliances to develop education

06 April 2011

A one-day conference will be held in London on Monday 23 May, 10 am – 4 pm, at the Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. The conference will invite all those concerned with principled educational development to act together in helping schools and communities to address pressing concerns of the century. Links will be explored between interventions in schools concerning values, rights, sustainability, democracy, citizenship and global citizenship, health promotion and curriculum review.

The conference will mark the publication of the 3rd edition of the Index for inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools, by Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow. This new edition, substantially revised and expanded, builds on ten years of the Index in use, supporting educational development in more than forty countries. Inclusion in the Index is a principled approach to developing education and society. It concerns the development of cultures, policies and practices affecting everyone: children and adults; schools, families and communities.

Aims of the conference

This event is jointly organised by CSIE; the Institute of Education, University of London; and the Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge.

The conference will be of interest to


£95 +VAT including refreshments, lunch and materials; each delegate will receive a copy of the 3rd edition of the Index for Inclusion

For more information or to book your place please see the conference leaflet or complete this booking form.

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Trans-cending gender norms

05 April 2011

Research on gender studies has shown the permeability of gender boundaries and highlighted the complex relationship between biological ‘sex’ and socially constructed ‘gender’. Yet, a binary system based on ‘female’ and ‘male’ categories is still dominant and often seen as the only existing reality. Gender ‘norms’ find their ways into social policies, institutions, curricula and legislation, frequently isolating those - like members of the trans community - who do not identify with the prevailing binary system. Trans realities are nevertheless vividly present in society as trans individuals attempt to establish new gender alternatives and rights on a day-to-day basis.

The conference is aimed at promoting a better understanding of the multiple identities expressed within the trans community. The event will attempt to dismantle the numerous persisting prejudices and stereotypes and aspire to raise public awareness of trans lives and realities.

It will be an occasion for scholars to discuss current issues in gender studies; for members of the transgender community to express and illustrate diverse points of view; for members of the general public to be informed on invisible and unknown issues regarding alternative gender identities.

Main conference themes:


The event will also include an afternoon roundtable. It will be an interactive moment where participants representing academia, institutions and the transgender community will discuss issues raised in the conference speeches and will comment on the current legislation (such as the new “Equality Act 2010”) in a joint attempt to find more effective solutions for the inclusion of transgender individuals in society. Em Williams from CSIE will be discussing the work of the revised Index for inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools and how it can be used to support trans and gender variant pupils and staff within schools.

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Little support or aspiration ?

09 March 2011

The Department for Education published the long-awaited Green Paper entitled Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability today, 9 March.

CSIE applauds the recognition in the Green Paper that a change to the current system is long overdue, as well as the honest acknowledgement that “parents say that the system is bureaucratic, bewildering and adversarial and that it does not sufficiently reflect the needs of their child and their family life.” However, CSIE is gravely concerned at the proposals that are being put forward.

CSIE welcomes the commitment to parental choice, but is concerned that no clear plans for affording a real choice to all parents are being put forward. If the full spectrum of provision is to become available to all parents to choose from, the capacity of mainstream schools to respond to the full diversity of learners has to increase.

In the process of presenting a commitment to parental choice, the Green Paper repeatedly states that the government intends to “remove the bias towards inclusion”. Many parents have told us of the many obstacles they have encountered in seeking a mainstream place for the child, so it is hard to justify the claim that such a bias exists. Furthermore, to speak of inclusion as though it only refers to school placement for some children, overlooks significant changes of the last decade and the fact that inclusive education nowadays is widely understood to relate to every child’s experience in school. It is as relevant to disability equality as it is to gender and ethnicity equality. By implying that inclusion is not a priority for the government, significant damage may be done as this could be seen as undermining the work of CSIE and other organisations that strive to support inclusive school development for the benefit of all children.

Alarmingly, the Green Paper takes us further back in time and seeks to re-introduce aspects of the Education Act 1996 that were repealed by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) 2001. The Green Paper states that parents will be able to express a preference for any state-funded school and have their preference met, unless it would not meet the needs of the child, be incompatible with the efficient education of other children, or be an inefficient use of resources. Two of these three provisos had been repealed by SENDA 2001; all three seem entirely out of place in 21st century schools. With a strong emphasis on personalised learning, there is no need for tailor-made provision to take place in separate settings. The efficient education of all children is a matter of school organisation and in other parts of the world systems have been developed so that all children are well educated in ordinary local schools. The 2007 Audit Commission report “out of authority placements for special educational needs” clearly states that without accounting for transport costs, which typically come out of a different budget and are not combined with other expenditure, it is not possible to make informed judgements about the most cost-effective placement for any particular child.

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February is LGBT History Month

21 January 2011

LGBT History Month was first initiated in America in the month of October 1994. LGBT History Month UK was initiated by a campaigning organization called Schools OUT in February 2005. Both were based on the creation of the highly successful Black History Month which first occurred in the UK in 1987.

LGBT History Month aims to inform people of the contribution and lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from both the past and the present so that we may create a more equitable society, both now and in the future.

The lives and achievements of LGBT people are often hidden making it easy for others to stereotype and distort. Such ignorance often breeds prejudice that may manifest in homophobic/transphobic bullying, hate crimes and negative discrimination. As such, LGBT History Month seeks to replace ignorance with knowledge and understanding, while also highlighting the contributions made by LGBT people across all times and cultures.

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to put on their own events throughout February. Please go to the lgbt history month website for ideas. As part of LGBT History Month CSIE will be running a FREE one hour workshop:

Hetero what? Challenging assumptions and tackling homophobia

Room 3S510, Frenchay Campus, UWE, on 16th February 2011, 12.30-1.30pm.

You may also find the following CSIE resource useful - frequently asked questions on schooling for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children and young people

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Schooling for LGBT young people

20 January 2011

In line with our frequently asked questions concerning schooling for disabled children, CSIE are proud to present the latest in our free resources series, frequently asked questions on schooling for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children and young people

Aimed at teachers and other education practitioners the short guide provides brief answers to a range of questions commonly encountered within school settings. All answers adhere to equality legislation and spell out the duty of care for all pupils, including those that may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), those that may be seen to be LGBT and those children that may have LGBT family members.

Hard copies of this resource are available upon request. Please email: admin@csie.org.uk

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Page last updated: Tuesday 20 August 2019

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