Gay teacher hailed as ‘shining light’ by PM for anti-bullying scheme
A gay Deputy Head behind an anti-bullying scheme has been hailed as a “shining light” by the Prime Minister.
Shaun Dellenty suffered from relentless years of homophobic bullying himself as a teen, but turned his own experiences into inspiration to tackling the issue.
The teacher, Deputy Head at Alfred Salter Primary in Southwark, 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.
He has spent years delivering anti-bullying training and workshops across the UK – and has even advised Parliament on policy.
This week, he was named the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
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Presenting him with the award, 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.”
Mr Dellenty said: “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.”
At a reception for IDAHOT today, Mr Cameron pledged to put global LGBT rights high up on his agenda – hoping to “change the world” on the issue.