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Rainbow Laces: Top five tips for creating an inclusive school

By Premier League Primary Stars · Fri 04 December 2020

The Premier League is working with Stonewall to make sport everyone’s game, and diversity and equality are themes which run through Premier League Primary Stars. 

To support Rainbow Laces 2020, here are some top tips to help you create a school where everyone feels they can be themselves. 

1. Challenge gender stereotypes

Gender stereotypes can lead children to assume that certain activities or careers aren’t meant for them, make them afraid to express themselves fully, and prevent them from reaching their full potential as they grow up. When children grow up learning that there’s no such thing as a ‘typical boy’ or a ‘typical girl’, they can grow up feeling good about themselves and go on to reach their full potential. 

Our Rainbow Laces pack gets pupils thinking about where stereotypes could be challenged, and how they can help to make changes. 

2. Make sport everyone’s game

For a lot of people, sport and sporting environments are ‘safe spaces’, somewhere they feel comfortable and at ease. But others might feel unwelcome in the same place. Coming together to make sport everyone’s game has never been more important and allies have a crucial role to play. Allies educate themselves and people around them and use their voices and privilege to speak out. Remind pupils of the value of team spirit and looking out for one another. 

A new activity in the Rainbow Laces pack asks pupils to identify ways they can be an ally towards someone who is experiencing stereotyping or unfair behaviour, for example because of their gender or race.

3. Language matters

If language focuses on someone’s identity in a negative way, it’s hurtful and abusive. Slurs cause harm even if there’s no obvious ‘target’: they reinforce stereotypes, build barriers to understanding and stop places being welcoming. All school staff should be trained to tackle all forms of bullying and any inappropriate comments or ‘jokes’ which may be hurtful. 

You can find out more from Stonewall.

4. Make everyone visible

Talking to young people about different types of families will make a difference to the school environment and enable every child to see themselves and their experiences represented, whatever kind of family set-up they live in and friends they have. Ensure the library contains fiction featuring different types of families and display diverse images of people and families. 

The Different Families, Same Love pack is available from Stonewall.

5. Celebrate!

It’s important to recognise and celebrate everyone’s similarities and differences. We are all unique. Let everyone know you’re inclusive - wear Rainbow Laces, celebrate different identities and different types of families. Make the clear, visible statement that you welcome everyone.

Watch a reading of the poem Beautifully different, Wonderfully the same written specially for Premier League Primary Stars by Joseph Coelho.

Download resources from the Rainbow Laces pack between 9 and 11 December 2020 to be entered into a prize draw to win a class set of rainbow laces for your school!