29 May 2023

Engage with community perspectives and expectations

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Design inclusive school-wide systems and processes’

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Expect and prepare for multiple perspectives

Expect and prepare for multiple perspectives

Attitudes to sexual orientation and gender diversity will differ across and within communities, families, generations, and cultural groups.

Consider how you will:

  • listen to the concerns of parents and caregivers and acknowledge their points of view
  • provide multiple opportunities for parents, caregivers and students to express their values and beliefs
  • communicate the systems and processes that support families and whānau in how to have a say
  • provide multiple ways to keep parents informed (for example, through newsletters, parent meetings, online spaces)
  • promote your anti­bullying policy and explain its connection to these inclusive practices
  • share your school vision for all learners, with a focus on increasing respect and understanding of difference and diversity, and including diverse sexuality and gender identities.

Source: Health and Physical Education Online (opens in a new tab/window)

Demonstrate diversity is valued

Demonstrate diversity is valued

Value and support the diversity in families through:

  • engaging and working with parents who can offer skills and expertise around LGBTIQA+ identities and experiences.
  • using inclusive language on forms
  • including sexuality and gender diversity in the curriculum
  • school systems that support families when issues of harassment or prejudice occur
  • ensuring families know about the school’s harassment policy and that the school supports gender and sexuality diversity
  • seeking a wide representation of diversity on school boards, parent committees, and in wider school activities and events
  • communicating the school’s commitment to being a safe, respectful, supportive, and inclusive environment for all members of the school community.

Source: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents and their children: Support strategies for educators (opens in a new tab/window)

Questions to ask

Questions to ask

To guide effective support, ask parents and whānau about:

  • ways to create a supportive environment for their children
  • the support options and information they need
  • how they want specific questions from other parents, teachers, and students to be handled.

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

Consider these questions for your own context.

  • How will you engage your school community in building understanding of creating safe and inclusive school environments for all?
  • What opportunities will you provide your community so they can share their expectations and perspectives in a safe and respectful way?
  • How will you work collaboratively with whānau on concerns relating to student safety and wellbeing?
  • How will you promote programmes that focus on accurate information and respect differences?
  • Who can help you build your knowledge of different cultural and religious views and beliefs about gender and sexuality to expand understanding?
  • How will you address sexuality and gender diversities in your school charter?

Source: Affirming diversity (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents and their children: Support strategies for educators

Read time: 11 min

Article outlining strategies for creating safe schools for children of LGBT parents. Published by the National Association of School Psychologists (US).

Publisher: National Association of School Psychologists

Download PDF

Next steps

Return to the guide “Supporting LGBTIQA+ students”

Guide to Index of the guide: LGBTIQA+ students