Date
25 August 2019

Consider gender and sexuality perspectives to support the design of a safe and socially inclusive environment

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Designing and configuring flexible learning spaces to support the full participation and engagement of all students’

What makes a safe school?

What makes a safe school?

Young people discuss what makes school safe or unsafe, and how to create a place where everyone belongs. They encourage schools to take a norm-challenging approach.

Safety policies

Safety policies

We have a policy of safety around identity and culture, and that includes gender. We feel strongly that every child deserves to feel safe in the school environment.

Board Chair

Design safe, accessible personal spaces

Design safe, accessible personal spaces

Stephen Heppell talks about the design of personal spaces, such as toilets and bathrooms. Consult with students from the beginning.

Understand threats to wellbeing

Understand threats to wellbeing

“Some students are not going to the toilet all day because they don't feel safe using school bathrooms.”

Aych McArdle, Rainbow YOUTH education director

Questions for reflection

Questions for reflection

Supporting feelings of wellbeing and safety should be central to the design of an ILE.

  • Where are the areas in the school where students feel unsafe or where they would like to feel more safe? Have students map or photograph these places.
  • How can we repurpose bullying hotspots, such as hallways or walkways between buildings?
  • What kinds of spaces increase feelings of safety and wellbeing?
  • What kinds of signage demonstrate respect for gender diversity?
  • What changes can we make to school protocols and organisation, such as uniform choices and sports groupings, to increase options for students?

Useful resources

Useful resources

Guidance on wellbeing and bullying prevention.

Wellbeing for young peoples success at secondary school

Wellbeing for young people's success at secondary school

Read time: 51 min

Publisher: Education Review Office | Te Tari Arotake Matauranga

Download PDF

Bullying prevention and response A guide for schools

Bullying prevention and response: A guide for schools

Read time: 2 min

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download PDF (4.6 MB)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Design for all from the outset”:

Return to the guide “Planning innovative learning environments (ILEs)”

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