27 March 2023

Model the use of inclusive language

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Leading learning to support inclusive practices’

On this page:

Review inclusive language

Review inclusive language

The language we use shapes our culture, expectations, and influences our actions.

As a staff:

  • consider the language and terminology you currently use to identify students and discuss their progress, needs, and supports.
  • reflect on whether the current language is respectful, accurate, useful, supports high expectations, and aligns with values and beliefs.
  • check for deficit identifiers that lower expectations, affirm stereotypes or are discriminatory.
  • discuss how language and terminology could be refined and make proposals
  • ask students and whānau for feedback. Is the suggested language respectful? Does it align with values and beliefs?
  • refine and adopt agreed language and terminology.

Defying the label

Defying the label

A group of young people describe some of the questions they have been asked. Here are their responses.

Useful resources

Useful resources


An incomplete guide to inclusive language for startups and tech

Read time: 16 min

A blog post containing a glossary of inclusive language and guiding principles.

Publisher: Buffer

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te reo hapai

Te Reo Hāpai – The language of enrichment

A glossary of new words in te reo Māori related to the mental health, addiction, and disability sectors.

Publisher: Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Leading with moral purpose”:

Return to the guide “Leading schools that include all learners ”