All our supporters have unique reasons for supporting the awards programme:
The Mayor of London, as part of his #behindeverygreatcity campaign, has helped Gender Action undertake a Phase 1 roll-out with London schools.
Mayor of London
“London is a city of opportunity and young Londoners are the scientists, engineers and designers of the future. The new Gender Action award for schools will support teachers to ensure that no young person in the capital is held back by gender stereotypes and show that London in leading the way in gender equality.”
Joanne McCartney, Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare
Launched in 2012, Let Toys Be Toys’ original aim was for the toy and publishing industries to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys and books as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys. The campaign continues to challenge gender stereotypes in childhood, and offers resources for parents, schools and early years.
Let Toys Be Toys
"We often hear from parents that children first encounter restrictive gender stereotypes and peer pressure to conform when they start school or nursery. Since 2014, Let Toys Be Toys has offered resources for schools and nurseries and our ‘10 ways to challenge gender stereotypes in the classroom’, adapted from the Breaking the Mould project from the NEU, remains our most popular resource. We know that teachers need tools, evidence and confidence to enable them to challenge gender stereotypes and Gender Action will enable them to access those crucial tools and training. The Gender Action schools award is a brilliant opportunity for schools to embrace a whole-school approach to challenging sexism in education and make a fundamental shift for all their pupils."
Let Toys Be Toys campaign team
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.
"Our founding purpose was to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. The learning of languages is vital to this. Currently in the UK, boys are much less likely than girls to study languages to a higher level and so less likely to develop the skills and cultural understanding that come with language learning. We are keen to encourage language learning for all and ensure that no one is held back by gender stereotypes."
Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser, British Council
Lifting Limits' mission is to challenge gender stereotypes and promote gender equality in and through education. With a focus on early intervention, it offers a comprehensive, whole school approach for primary schools. It is currently running a year long pilot in 5 Camden primary schools.
“Gender Action is a positive step towards meaningfully embedding gender equity within schools. Our whole school approach draws on the same evidence base and we are delighted to see such a prestigious group of organisations develop a universal framework. We look forward to supporting primary schools in their journey to become Gender Action schools.”
Caren Gestetner and Rachel Hermer, Founders, Lifting Limits
The National Education Union (NEU) – formed by the amalgamation of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers – is the largest education union in the UK. The NEU brings together over 460,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK. We’re committed to making education a great place to work, a great place to teach, and a great place to learn.”
National Education Union
“Schools and colleges have a vital role to play in breaking down stereotypes and in challenging sexism and sexual harassment. Our report “Its Just everywhere” showed that sexism is an issue for every school in every community. We want to empower students, leaders and teachers to work together within a whole school approach to make change happen. We are delighted to work with the Gender Action Programme as a key initiative to take this work forward and truly embed gender equality in education."
Ros McNeil, Head of Equality, Social Justice and International Policy
Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI) is an independent charity committed to improving maths education. We support schools and colleges through a range of professional development and student enrichment activities, and develop innovative resources to enhance teaching and learning. MEI manages the government-funded Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) and is a partner in the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM).
“MEI promotes the importance, relevance and enjoyment of studying maths beyond GCSE to students in Key Stage 4 through the work of the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme. We believe that continuing to study maths widens the range of opportunities available to young people. It helps them to gain skills and confidence in applying the maths they may meet in higher education, and/or the workplace, and develops transferrable skills, such as problem solving and reasoning. Maths is the most popular subject at A level, but boys are more likely to study it than girls. We want to encourage more girls to study maths as we believe in equal outcomes for all students and don’t want anyone’s potential to be limited in later life by thinking that certain subjects or careers are gender specific. This is not something that maths teachers can tackle in isolation and we fully support the whole school approach of Gender Action.”
Rachel Beddoes, Girls’ Participation Lead, MEI
The British Science Association (BSA) is a registered charity which exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering. Its vision is of a world where science is at the heart of society and culture.
British Science Association
“The BSA believes that science is for everyone, regardless of background, culture or gender. Socially constructed roles for men and women have not only limited some people’s aspirations and opportunities but also had a damaging effect on the world of science. Our CREST Award scheme has a long standing history of equal gender participation, which is something we work hard to maintain and build on. We welcome this initiative that takes a whole-school approach to gender equality and hope it will trigger widespread cultural change.”
Maria Rossini, Head of Education British Science Association
William Collins’ dream of ‘knowledge for all’ began with the publication of his first book in 1819. A self-educated mill-worker, he founded a flourishing publishing house in Glasgow and went on to enrich the lives of millions through his publishing. Collins is now an imprint of HarperCollins UK, and is known throughout the world for providing accessible, authoritative and informative content in print and digital formats.
“From authors, to storylines, to characters, Collins is committed to diversity and inclusivity, giving visibility and representation to the readership and communities we serve.
Through our primary reading programme, Collins Big Cat, we are proud to publish many brilliant books for children across diverse genres and tackling a wide range of subjects.
Our new STEM fiction books featuring female protagonist, Tara Binns, tell empowering stories that promote ambition, resilience and achievement in STEM careers.
We are delighted to be supporting Gender Action as it works to help schools make a fundamental shift in how they tackle gender stereotyping, so no child’s ambitions are limited.”
Lizzie Catford, Primary Publisher
You Be You
“At You Be You, our vision is that no child leaves primary school believing that their gender limits their choices. Research shows that damaging gender stereotypes have already embedded by by age ten, and that poor children are more likely to limit their aspirations based on these stereotypes. However, not enough is being done to address gender-based stereotypes early in childhood, in boys as well as girls, and across all cultures, classes, and religions. Choosing one's own path should be a right, not a luxury. We aim to build confidence and skills -- for all children -- through fun and engaging lessons, workshops, and activities for schools and parents. More than that, we aim to shift the perceptions of schools, families and children to open possibilities for the next generation.”
Bilkis Miah, Founder and CEO
You Be You is a charity with the vision that no child leaves primary school believing that their gender limits their potential. Quite simply, it is about arming young children with the choice, confidence and life skills to make the most of their futures.