Equality and Diversity in Staff Training
This is the notes form of an Equality and Diversity presentation I wrote as part of my certification as a PBS instructor. I am now a Principal Instructor for our area in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS is an area I have been putting much thought into). I must stress I would never use such wordy Powerpoints in any lesson or training session, this is more of a handout in powerpoint form. I think most of us have sat through presentations like these. It talks about being sensitive to learners needs then expects them to read loads of tiny writing on a bright white background.
It talks about involving staff by being inclusive but then talks at them for 30 minutes. So whilst the points are valid they are often lost. It emphasises the importance of engaging the staff and ensuring inclusivity in communication. However, it can be observed that the delivery of the message tends to be one-sided, resulting in a lack of effective understanding and absorption of the points being made. Consequently, there is room for improvement in creating a more interactive and participatory environment to enhance the impact of the valuable insights presented. I am now more aware of ableism in such training.
We all make assumptions about staff when training. Those of us who are teachers generally do not make these assumptions about the learners in our classroom. If you are asked to give a presentation about equality and diversity feel free to use these as your notes, but please don’t make those you are training read it all on the board or even worse read it to them!
Why addressing equality and diversity in staff training in schools is important:
- Promoting inclusivity and a sense of belonging. When all staff receive training on equality and diversity, they develop a better understanding of the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and needs of students. This helps foster a more inclusive school culture where all students feel like they belong.
- Setting an example for students. School staff serve as role models for students. When staff undergo equality and diversity training and implement inclusive practices, they set a good example for students to do the same.
- Preventing discrimination and bias. Training helps raise awareness of unconscious biases and stereotypes that could potentially lead to discrimination against some groups of students. Staff then learn strategies to mitigate bias in their teaching and interactions with students.
- Ensuring legal compliance. Schools have a legal duty under equality legislation to protect students from discrimination. Staff training helps ensure the school is meeting its legal obligations.
- Improving teaching and learning. When staff gain a better understanding of diverse learners and their needs, they can develop more inclusive teaching strategies and classroom practices that benefit all students, especially those from underrepresented groups. This ultimately improves teaching and learning outcomes.
Equality and diversity training for school staff promotes inclusion, helps cultivate an anti-discriminatory culture, meets legal requirements, and improves education for diverse students. That’s why it’s considered an important, but often overlooked, part of overall school professional development.
Download powerpoint here. Joe W Equality and diversity