During the year, the academic staff attended several workshops, training courses and seminars as part of their personal and professional development. By affording the academic staff these opportunities, the school has enabled the educators to challenge the status quo and effecting change, by utilising learning to create innovation and improvement opportunities.
In March this year INSA, a well-known and respected company that specializes in presenting workshops for organizations on diversity and inclusivity, visited the school and presented a workshop to the staff of Grey College Secondary. The main aim of the workshop was to build an inclusive culture and diverse environment for the school. Not only did the presenters integrate diversity and inclusion into the school’s strategy but also gave a better understanding of diversity and the school’s responsibility for managing it within both a school and a South African context.
Clarity on concepts like racism, sexism and discrimination was affirmed and the presenters also differentiated between EE, BEE and BBBEE. Workplace challenges, barriers and issues that arise from diversity and EE were also recognized and discussed. The talents and struggles within diverse teams were identified and personal responses to change and transformation discussed. Staff members were challenged to determine not only South Africa’s progress on the intercultural learning path but also that of Grey College and their own personal progress.
It was also emphasized that all stakeholders at the school need to take accountability for an inclusive culture, develop an inclusive culture paradigm but that this paradigm needs to develop continually based on the changing demographics both within the school and country. The staff members, once again, affirmed the school’s educational ideal of providing a secure and positive school environment in which the Grey College boys can experience success and a sense of belonging. On an individual basis, staff members were also reminded that certain behaviours, like appreciation, inclusion and respect, needed to be established and continually re-affirmed.