THE efforts of four schools to promote diversity and inclusion among their pupils were rewarded yesterday at the Yellow Flag Awards.
Primary schools Aston Village Educate Together, Drogheda and St Josephs GNS in Finglas, Dublin and secondary schools Margaret Aylwards Community College, Dublin and Abbey Community College, Wicklow were presented with awards by former TD and Senator Michael D Higgins.
The Yellow Flag Programme was piloted with four schools in 2008 by the Irish Traveller movement.
It provides eight steps that run throughout the school year. These look at the issues of interculturalism, equality and diversity both in school and out.
Some of the steps include intercultural and anti-racism training for staff and management; establishing a diversity committee; and the final step, producing a diversity code and anti racist policy for the school.
Yellow Flag programme coordinator Paula Madden said of the latest recipients: “We’re absolutely delighted. It was a celebration of the work of the four schools, it was so important that they were acknowledged.
“We’re looking for key partners like the Department of Education and the Office of inclusion to bring this project to a larger scale. We want to see it become a national programme.”
Mr Higgins said “The Yellow Flag awards for intercultural awareness and practice have the potential to have the same impact in time as the green flag awards have had for schools in the environmental area. They emphasise the central importance of recognising, on equal terms, the dignity and contribution of each person in differing circumstances and with different cultural experiences — they are a marker of respect.”
The event was hosted by RTÉ 2’s elev8 presenter Diana Bunici from Moldova.