8 Steps of the Yellow Flag Programme

 1: Getting Started, Keeping track and promoting the schools of Yellow Flag Work

The initial step on the Yellow Flag programme is setting up the structures to support the running of the programme in the school. It involves identifying a link teacher/teachers. The Principal and link teachers hold an information session with the staff team. The school notifies students/parents and whole school community of the its participation in this exciting initiative and invites them to get involved. The staff familiarises themselves with the Yellow Flag handbook, website and Facebook page. The school sets up the recording and information dissemination structures in the school, folder, noticeboard etc.

2. The Diversity Committee

Establishing The Diversity Committee, to ensure that the programme will meet the needs of everyone. The Committee will consist of pupils, teachers, parents, other school staff and management of the school and will meet on a regular basis to drive the project forward.

3. Intercultural Awareness Training for Staff and Management

The next step for a “diverse school” is for staff and management to undergo Anti-Racism and Intercultural Awareness training. This will in equip and refresh all with new skills provide a suitable environment to discuss issues that may arise over the course of the Yellow Flag Programme.

4. Intercultural Review

Staff and students, working alongside parents and other relevant stakeholders, look to identify the intercultural and diversity issues that exist in the school.

5. Action Plan for a Diverse School

The Diversity Committee, informed by the work of the Intercultural Review, devises an action plan for a specific time-period and sets themselves realistic targets to improve the whole-school environment.

 6: Going beyond the School Walls: Engaging with Parents and the Community   

Yellow Flag schools will make direct links with local Traveller/ Minority/ Migrant organisations in their area to gain from their expertise and foster new relationships in their community. The schools will reach out to more parents to get involved and help out with intercultural activities and actions coming from the action plan. The Yellow Flag Schools begin to utilise press and other forms of local media to publicise the successes of the school and enable the wider community to recognise their work in promoting interculturalism.

7. Curriculum work

Classroom study on diversity, covering race and ethnicity will be carried out by all students. This will involve project work on all cultures and countries represented in the school as well as specific lessons and whole school initiatives on areas relating to identity, racism, anti-bullying, equality, and friendship.

 Step 8: Diversity Code, Diversity Statement and Policy Review

This will involve the whole school getting involved in writing a short Diversity Code for the school. It will also mean the school creating and adopting a Diversity Statement or reviewing the current one to ensure it is diversity friendly. A policy review of some key school policies to ensure they are diversity friendly in light of all the schools learning and actions throughout the Programme,

* Please note these Steps do not necessarily all run one after the other, but are often happening at the same time. The Step framework is just a guideline to ensure schools keep on track and this happen in a logical manner.

Yellow Flag Award

On completing these steps, the school will be awarded its “Yellow Flag” in recognition of its work in becoming a school committed to interculturalism & celebrating diversity 

The Yellow Flag Programme must be supported in becoming a national programme. It must be mainstreamed. From there, it will have the capacity to do for diversity what another marvellous programme, the Green Schools/Green Flag Programme, has achieved for environmental awareness among the huge constituency of children, parents, teachers, and communities which it reaches out to so effectively across the State

Michael D Higgins, 25th of May 2011