Sometimes you get an idea or suggestion from a parent that is too good to ignore and after communication with Rebekah Jones, a Year 10 parent and a lead for Defence Medical Services Multi-Cultural, we learnt about their ‘Elephant in the Room’ initiative.

The expression ‘The elephant in the room’ is an idiom. It means that there is a topic that everyone sees is there, but no one talks about. It is as if there was an elephant sitting in the lounge at home, but no one talked about, this would be very odd. We did not want this to apply to issues including racism, homophobia, sexism or classism.

We took this idea and ran with it in our Black History Month Focus Week and it will continue to be a theme through the year when we look at International Women’s Day, Refugees Week and Gay Pride.

We want our students to understand that there are inequalities and biases in society, in our local community, and very occasionally they come to light in our school. This is normal – all of us are a product of our family and our background – but it is our job as a school to see it, open it up, talk about it, and then re-educate where necessary. We are a school that is inclusive and respectful – but we have a job to do to engender this attitude into our students.

We have asked our students to challenge inequality, to call it out, and to report in if it takes place. We have also mapped out how we deal with it; of course, sanction, but more importantly education for the child, liaison with the family, and work with external agencies including the community police.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “This week our ‘elephant in the room’ has been around the school to remind students of the inequalities we have discussed this week. It has reminded them of the messages, the ideas and the responsibilities that we must all take forward to make our society, country and world a better place.”