The Bedford College Group has been awarded Gold for its LGBT+ inclusion work both on campus, and in reaching out to the wider community.
The award was made by Stonewall www.stonewall.org.uk which was founded in 1989 and works towards equality for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and LGBTQ+ inclusive education.
The Group has been a Stonewall school champion since 2018 and previously won the Bronze and Silver standard accreditations.
“This upgrade to Gold demonstrates the commitment of management, staff and students to make The Bedford College Group the ‘Gold standard’ for our wider communities when it comes to inclusivity,” said Vice Principal Em Lowe
Anastassia Parsons, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager added:
“We have made huge progress for creating a place for work and study where everyone can enjoy a sense of belonging and can access with equal ease and dignity. We will continue on the path of education and service improvements so that in our LGBT+ friendly community everyone feels welcomed and safe to be themselves.”
In the extensive report Stonewall said:
“Wow! There is some fantastic evidence in these materials. Your policies are clear and comprehensive and it’s wonderful to see the range of different policies, documents and display materials that help to communicate and reinforce your messaging …”
When it came to staff the report added:
“It’s clear that you have lots of training available to staff and that you factor in how you can ensure that new starters receive this training and that other staff can request refresher training if they need to. It’s great that all staff have ongoing access to professional development in this area and are kept regularly updated …. You are clearly proactive in sharing best practice with other settings.”
Students arriving at The Group benefit from:
“ …. a really impressive range of channels for all students to contribute to decision-making and for LGBTQ+ students in particular to give feedback and participate in strategy, governance and decision-making. This is really good practice and provides clear, strategic ways for learns to snap your practice and options for learners to choose the level of participation that is right for them.
“Overall, this is a really strong application across all of the areas of good practice, with particularly good work around learner voice and staff training.
“It’s fantastic to see how seriously you take your ongoing commitment to this work.”