Red Balloon of the Air is excited to announce that they have achieved the Rainbow Flag Award, which is a national quality assurance framework that focuses on positive LGBT+ inclusion and visibility.
“The Rainbow Flag Award is a national framework, that utilises only local LGBT+ youth organisations as delivery partners. This is a core guiding value of the award, which means that the training and services that are provided are relevant to, and have an understanding of, local communities and their needs. It also means that information shared through training and other communications, is current and fresh, representing the actual everyday experiences of LGBT+ young people in the local area.” (Rainbow Flag Award)
Red Balloon of the Air started working towards the award in April of 2021 and has now completed it! RBAir took an in-depth look at what they were doing well and what they could improve upon in order to meet the standards of the Rainbow Flag Award.
Since 2019, Red Balloon of the Air has had an LGTBQ+ Champion working to increase specialist knowledge and awareness among our staff and further build upon our inclusive practice for LGBTQ+ students. Red Balloon is fortunate to have lots of LGBTQ+ students and a team of staff passionate about improving their knowledge of all things LGBTQ+! Receiving the award gives us the opportunity to gain recognition for everything we’ve put into practice over the past few years, as well as continue to improve further with the wonderful support of the Kite Trust.
The Kite Trust supports the wellbeing and creativity of LGBTQ+ young people in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and the surrounding areas through information, support and groups. The trust builds inclusive communities to tackle inequalities through consultancy, training and education in all sectors. (The Kite Trust)
“We hope that the young people in our community will feel reassured by this award,” says Christina Smith, Assistant Headteacher at Red Balloon of the Air. “We put the effort in to do this because it’s important for us and our young people. We are delighted that The Kite Trust has endorsed us in this endeavour.”
Earning the Rainbow Flag Award
In order to earn the Rainbow Flag Award, RBAir improved upon the processes that were already in place. Some of the improvements included:
- Whole staff inclusive curriculum training – where staff brainstormed together topics within their subjects with an LGBTQ+ topic, and how to edit existing work to make it LGBTQ+ inclusive (such as changing the language in biology lessons when talking about hormones).
- Staff training on National Coming Out Day about how to best respond when a student comes out to you
- PSHEE staff members attended LGBTQ+ inclusive relationships and sex education training
- Staff supported students to undertake initiatives to mark and celebrate significant dates in the LGBTQ+ calendar such as LGBTQ+ history month.
- Update their policies to better reflect their support for LGBTQ+ students and families
- Created a new LGBTPhobia incident reporting form
- Started a weekly LGBTQ+ online club in response to student demand
- Continued LGBTQ+ induction training for all staff and made training part of the induction programme.
- Showcase event with student interviews sharing what went wrong for them in mainstream school, what RBAir did that worked, and what advice they’d give to other schools
- Anonymous student feedback
- Parent feedback
- Staff training on how to respond to LGBTphobia and LGBTphobic language
- Updated new governor job description to have an inclusion governor
We are thrilled that all of our hard work has paid off and we are even more excited to continue our learning, and support our LGBTQ+ students, staff and allies.