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Pride in Further Education: June 2023

Pride in Further Education: June 2023

It’s Pride Month!

Pride month is upon us and well underway. For many this is highlighting for them – how do we actually promote greater inclusion for the LGBT community in our centres, classrooms and curriculum. For many we may slap on a rainbow logo for June – but what else can we do and how, to ensure LGBT Inclusion 365. Well start small and at the very beginning – but do something! This is by no way exhaustive for ways to change, but may spark some ideas for you and your team.

Your website

If you have staff pictures on the website – are their pronouns on there? Do you showcase LGBT champions in the organisation? Have you won any awards for inclusivity and is it on there? Do you use gender neutral language in the ‘Work for us’ section and subsequently the vacancies you have?


Do you ask for applicants chosen pronouns for example? If you are centre based provision – do staff have name badges/fobs displaying their own pronouns? What displays or information is there in reception so from the moment a potential new learner steps foot into your centre/premises they know this is an organisation with an inclusive culture where they can be their true authentic self?

Email Signatures

If we think about email signatures – does every member of staff in the organisation have their pronouns on their signature strip – or are you the lone wolf going it alone to promote inclusion? To have an inclusive culture this needs to be a full team/organisation approach from leaders and managers through to your admin apprentice. Might be something to add into your staff team meeting to address.


At the start of a session or induction – do trainers/tutors/assessors introduce themselves and their pronouns – right there we are bringing inclusion into the classroom! 3 in 5 LGBT people identify having anxiety and this could be the one thing which reduces anxiety for entering a new learning environment. Language can have a real impact by doing this it also shows a modern and evolving culture for your organisation.

Young people look for this and want this not only in their place of learning but of employment, share this with employers too. With struggles with apprenticeship recruitment showing you are an inclusive employer will ultimately appeal more to candidates. A few more tips on language:

  • Introducing yourself with your pronouns e.g. I am x, the pronouns I use are she/her, him/he or they/them. Include on emails.
  • Avoid terms like “guys” for everyone and using gender neutral terms like: staff members, folks, volunteers, visitors or members. Good afternoon everyone – inclusive of ALL learners.
  • Assumptions about biological parents and assuming that there is a mum and dad – instead say carer, guardian, parent(s), caregiver, or responsible adult.
  • Ask in advance if you are not sure of something. It’s fine not to know something!


Yes, we know language terrifies many with the fear of getting it wrong overwhelming them so remaining quiet – know this – it’s better to try and get it wrong than do nothing. YOU ARE HUMAN! WE GET THINGS WRONG!! The fact that you are actively trying is brilliant so don’t be so hard on yourself. If you are called out on it, acknowledge your mistake, even apologise – you never know the difficult background someone has had, and it may have taken a lot for them to speak up. We all know the saying ’we learn from our mistakes’ so don’t be afraid to make one. And ultimately – use someone’s name, we have them for a reason. Ensure that you use the correct name and in the case of some learners we do not use the ‘dead name’ as this can be traumatic for the learner. (To clarify ‘dead-naming’ are those names which they were assigned at birth and no longer use).

Think about visuals in the centre – do staff have rainbow lanyards? Are toilets gender neutral? What information is held around the centre? Do you have images to show who your LGBT Champion is?

Curriculum – do you plan for inclusion or jump on pride month? Go beyond calendar dates! Plan your curriculum – do beauty learners cover pride make-up or make up for drag queens and how to retain this under spotlights? When planning the curriculum are you utilising a wide range of texts – novels including Loveless by Alice Osemna, exploring identity and attractions. Make sure these are read first for appropriateness.

Localism – are you aware of the organisations locally to support your learners? E.g. Proud & Diverse Leeds, Huddersfield Gay Group, LGBT Youth Calderdale, York LGBT Forum (includes North Yorkshire) Are there any local events or groups which you can be involved in to enhance your learners knowledge and awareness?

CPD – are staff accessing CPD? Do you send out updates? Creative Education have recently released free modules – get booking!! This includes Gender Diversity and disclosure – how to respond.

Lesson visits – do you analyse EDI within these? Is LGBT only covered during June? If so plan how to address this.

Heteronormativity – for most, upon seeing a wedding ring people assume a husband-and-wife scenario. This can be awkward for someone to correct so sometimes taking a minute to think before asking questions ‘how long have you been with your partner?’ gender neutral and provides the opening to share this.

In conclusion:

  • We know we all need to do more – now’s the time, take action!!
  • You can’t do everything overnight – this needs to be a long-term plan, so be realistic.
  • If in doubt, speak out – we are here to help you! If you haven’t already, sign up to the Pride in FE charter and we can share resources and upcoming CPD and events.

By Kelly Townend, Contract & Quality Manager, Yorkshire Learning Providers

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