Shaun Dellenty

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Shaun Dellenty, born 1968, is a teacher and campaigner.

A survivor of sustained homophobic bullying as a child (which resulted in him walking out of state education in 1987) Dellenty remained ‘closeted’ as a teacher until 2009 as a result of hearing homophobia in school staff-rooms, class-rooms and playgrounds. In November 2009 Dellenty’s own school discovered by undertaking pupil questionnaires that 75% pupils within the school and locality were being subjected to daily homophobic language or abuse or were hearing the word ‘gay’ being used as a pejorative term on a daily basis. Using the bullying data as a trigger Dellenty ‘came out’ to his whole school community and founded Inclusion For All, a small not for profit charitable organisation aiming to train teachers and effect organisational change in communities, schools, faith schools and other educational contexts. Dellenty also began telling his story in school assemblies across the United Kingdom.[1]

Such was the rapid impact of the Inclusion For All programme that OFSTED Stonewall and the Department For Education and the press showed early interest in Dellenty’s life, story and IFA work. Dellenty has now supported or spoken to a huge range of schools, teacher training establishments, faith schools, local authorities, hate-crime, police and anti-bullying organisations including; Amnesty UK, Stonewall, National College of Teaching and Leadership, NSPCC, Kidscape, Open University, Liverpool Hope and John Moores Universities, London South Bank, Institute of Education, Hull University, University of Greenwich, House of Commons and many more. In addition to school based training sessions Dellenty also speaks on webinars, radio and television and at hate crime and anti-bullying conferences, TEDx, IDAHO, LGBT Pride events and LGBT history month events both in the UK and abroad. In 2014 alone Dellenty had invitations to speak to audiences in Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Hungary and Armenia. In 2013 Inclusion For All was awarded the Southwark Good Practice Award by the mayor of Southwark. Dellenty leads non profit 'pop up' regional IFA training days around the UK and abroad. Dellenty's work has been the feature of many articles in the national press, including Times Educational Supplement, Leadership Focus, LDR Magazine, Teach Primary, Huffington Post, The Guardian, London Evening Standard, The Mirror, The Telegraph and many more. A prolific writer and blogger, Dellenty has written articles for Teach Primary magazine, The Guardian, Gay Star News, Gay Times, LDR magazine and others.

In 2012 and 2013 Dellenty was nominated onto the Independent on Sunday 'Pink List' of the 101 most influential LGBT people in the UK. In 2013 and 2014 he was nominated for the Royal Air Force 'LGBT Inspirational Role Model Award' by Square Peg Media. In 2013 and 2014 he was nominated as 'LGBT Inspirational Role Model' at the National Diversity Awards and Inclusion For All was nominated for the 'LGBT Community Group' award. Dellenty was Highly Commended at the 2015 Excellence In Diversity Awards. In 2013 and 2014 Dellenty was invited to help judge the Amnesty International Young Journalist of the Year Award. In June 2013 and 2014 Dellenty returned to his old secondary school in Leicestershire to speak about growing up gay being bullied and his IFA work, writing about his experience in an article for The Guardian which went viral. In Autumn 2014 Dellenty’s IFA work was broadcast nationally as part of the CBBC series ‘Our School’.

In May 2014 Dellenty's IFA work was recommended by the Church of England in their ‘Valuing All God’s Children’ anti-homophobic bullying resource; Dellenty led a student workshop alongside secondary school pupils and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at Trinity School Lewisham with headteacher Father Richard Peers naming Shaun as ‘the best speaker on homophobic bullying I have heard’. Dellenty was nominated a 'Pride Hero' by members of the public at Pride In London 2015 and was featured in a high-profile multi-media campaign across London Transport. In 2015 Dellenty spoke at the London Festival of Education and began writing his first book ‘That Gay Teacher’ about his journey and IFA work. In 2012 Dellenty worked with EV Crowe and the cast and production team of the play 'Hero' at the Royal Court Theatre, which was in part inspired by observations undertaken by the 'Hero' cast and production team of Dellenty working with pupils in school. Dellenty will also be appearing in the forthcoming 'After 82' to discuss the arrival of HIV/AIDS in the UK and the role of sex education in schools.[2]

In 2015 Dellenty was asked to advise on policy at the House of Commons and Lords and spoke at Inside Government events. In 2016 he advised on policy to the LGBT Lib Dems conference. In 2016 Dellenty launched an anti-homophobia schools and theatre tour 'BOY' in collaboration with Essex-based HyperFusion Theatre Company and Dellenty undertook various media promotions. In 2016 in a ground breaking move Dellenty took his messages of LGBT+ inclusion to the Isle of Man, speaking at the first Isle Of Man Diversity Conference about LGBT+ inclusion and equal marriage on the same day the same sex marriage bill past the first stage in the Manx Government. Dellenty was then invited to lead ground-breaking LGBT+ inclusion work with Isle of Man schools by the Isle of Man Education Department. In May 2016 Dellenty won three major awards over five days: the Education Champion Category at the Excellence in Diversity Awards a 'Point of Light award given in person by the Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street and on 14 May 2016 Dellenty was presented with the Mayor's Top Special Civic Award at Southwark Cathedral by the Mayor of Southwark alongside actor Jenny Agutter and Sir Terence Conran. In July 2016 Dellenty married his long term partner in the Houses of Parliament. In November 2016 the anti-homophobia play 'BOY' Dellenty had inspired and collaborated on with HyperFusion Theatre Company undertook an extensive tour of schools and community spaces with funding from the NHS; to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week and UK Parliament Week the play was performed within the Houses of Parliament. In January 2017 it was confirmed by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement that they had included Dellenty within their 'Rainbow List' of LGBT Christians and allies who were working to promote greater understanding between faith and LGBT communities. In February 2017 Dellenty was nominated for the 'Inclusive Networks Awesome 100' of inspiring people working to achieve social and professional representation for LGBT+ people in the UK. In the same year Dellenty supported the National Association of Headteachers in the development of their LGBT+ Resource for School Leaders. In November 2017 Dellenty's work was officially recognised by the 3 Faiths Forum in recognition of his advocacy work between faith, non-faith and LGBT+ communities. In the same month Dellenty was invited to act as an advisor to the Centre For LGBTQ+ inclusion In Education based at Leeds Beckett University. In January 2018 Dellenty began a ground-breaking three to five year suite of work with the Isle Of Man Department of Education, Sports and Culture, supporting all island schools and a number of Island services to become more fully LGBT+ inclusive. In June 2018 Dellenty was shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards in the 'Positive Role Model category'. His first book for Bloomsbury Education 'Celebrating Difference, A Whole School Approach to LGBT+ Inclusion is published in May 2019, marking ten years of work in the field of LGBT+ inclusion.

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