Beyond Tolerance: Celebrating Difference in Schools

James Priory and Jo Morgan (The Portsmouth Grammar School)

Imagine a school where difference is not simply tolerated but celebrated. A school where pupils and staff are openly lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT+), where the most popular society celebrates gay pride, where sex education addresses the needs of all pupils; a school where every person has the right to have pride in who they are.

The Stonewall school report of 2012 showed that nearly one in four young LGBT people have attempted suicide and over half have self-harmed. More recently, Pride in London’s research showed that 74% of LGBT people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity, with 77% feeling uncomfortable in being their true selves in public.

The Portsmouth Grammar School has demonstrated the positive impact of embracing LGBT+ rights, culture and difference.  This cultural shift has had a profound impact on the experience of our pupils, staff and parents. Come to this talk to find out how we’ve made these changes and to discuss the challenges and opportunities in celebrating difference in a school environment.

James Priory - photo cropJames Priory studied English at the University of Oxford, and began teaching at Bradford Grammar School, where he became Head of Year 7, introducing the firs girls into the school. He was appointed Head of English at The Portsmouth Grammar School where he subsequently became Assistant Head (Head of Sixth Form) and, since 2008, Headmaster. James is Chairman of the Portsmouth Festivities, a city wide annual celebration of young people and the arts. In September 2018 he takes up a new position as Headmaster of Tonbridge School.

Jo Morgan - photo cropJo Morgan is Head of the Pastoral Curriculum and teacher of Philosophy at The Portsmouth Grammar School.  Since setting up the Pride Society in 2013, the school has transformed into a place which unambiguously celebrates difference.  Jo is involved in teacher training and local outreach, provide talks, training and articles on gender, sexuality and sex and relationships education.