Long Stratton High School teacher receives award recognising LGBT+ work

Pupils at Long Stratton High School with assistant headteacher Claire Gallant, who was awarded the S

Pupils at Long Stratton High School with assistant headteacher Claire Gallant, who was awarded the Senior Leadership award. Picture: Sabrina Johnson - Credit: Archant

A teacher's hard work in championing equality has been recognised by a national award from the LGBT+ charity.

Claire Gallant, assistant head teacher at Long Stratton High School, has been awarded a senior leadership award at the 2018 Just Like Us, School Star Awards.

Selected from hundreds of schools and teachers across the country, the award recognises Mrs Gallant's work in advocating a zero tolerance approach to prejudice and her work in raising awareness of LGBT+ issues in the school.

At the award ceremony, held the Daily Telegraph's London office in January, members of Just Like Us commended Mrs Gallant on the passion and energy she had put into promoting enlightened attitudes and respect, especially during the school's 2017 diversity week.

Some of the events and initiatives Mrs Gallant has launched at the school include organising a LGBT+ flag event, where pupils where encouraged to dress up in the colours of the rainbow flag, de-gendering the school uniform and setting up pupil-to-pupil support and anti-bullying groups.

Talking about what the award meant to her, Mrs Gallant said it was 'wonderful' and a recognition not only of the work she and staff had done, but also what pupils at the school had achieved.

She highlighted examples where older pupils at school had worked with younger pupils to explain the impact certain phrases and behaviours can have on others.

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She said: 'The peer-to-peer support has been fantastic.

'It's not just about the impact of comments, it's about explaining how your behaviour effects somebody else, understanding how it can make somebody else feel.'

When asked why she believed it was so important to promote LGBT+ equality in schools Mrs Gallant said that it was all about encouraging pupils to be whoever they wanted to be and accept to others for who they are, in order to prevent bullying and mental health problems.

She said; 'It's really important that when pupils get into the outside world they feel that they can have their own identity, I certainly do not want them feeling that they have to be a certain way.

'Now is the time to equip pupils with the tool kit they need.'