A very warm welcome to the website of multi award-winning educator and LGBT+ inclusion in education advocate Shaun Dellenty.

Shaun Dellenty is an independent education trainer & inspirational keynote/after dinner speaker who has been working to positively prevent LGBT+ and identity based prejudice in the UK education system and communities since 2009. Shaun is a nationally recognised lead on LGBT+ inclusion in schools in the UK, with particular experience in preventing homophobic bullying.

About Shaun Dellenty and his work

Shaun has trained teachers, school governors, school leadership teams and non-teaching staff in hundreds of primary & secondary schools around the UK during the last nine years, leading to his designation as a ‘Point of Light' by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2016. Shaun has worked in schools in a wide range of rural, urban and faith contexts since 1996, when he graduated from Leicester University. Shaun has worked as a class-teacher, Deputy Head-teacher, Acting Headteacher and Local Authority Education Consultant in Primary and Middle School contexts. Shaun's vision is to ensure that our education systems are safe and inclusive places for all young people regardless of their perceived or actual LGBT+ identity or gender identity.

Shaun entered the professional education system in 1996, himself a survivor of the childhood homophobic bullying that nearly caused him to take his own life at the age of 16. After identifying similar endemic homophobic bullying within his own London school in 2009, Shaun devised a highly celebrated teacher training strategy ‘Inclusion For All' (IFA) personally delivering to over 10,000 education professionals in the UK alone; in undertaking such ground-breaking work Shaun attracted national interest and acclaim and played a fundamental role in changing the UK education system (particularly at primary level) in order to become more open to positive LGBT+ inclusion from the point of entry to formal education. Shaun has been called to advise on government education policy on several occasions as a result and has spoken at Westminster and House of Commons/ Lords briefings.

Shaun delivers twilight sessions and half and full day training sessions for education and other relevant professionals. Shaun also recounts his own difficult child-hood as a bullied gay child and his subsequent inspiring journey in school assemblies up and down the country with energy a keen sense of humour and compassion and natural charisma which young people and adults alike find highly inspiring.

Shaun is also asked to speak in non-education contexts such as banks and businesses, especially around LGBT History Month, Pride season and the International Day of Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Shaun has also spoken at LGBT+ Pride and Hate -Crime events for the Police and child protection agencies such as the NSPCC. Shaun has supported in various capacities many leading education, LGBT, anti-bullying and hate crime organisations around the UK.

Shaun regularly delivers lectures on positive LGBT+ inclusion at leading teacher training faculties, clients have included London South Bank, University of Greenwich and Teach First. Shaun also has strong links with Amnesty UK and delivers annual training for Amnesty Teachers. Shaun has also provided training for House of Commons staff. Shaun has also worked with all of the leading teacher unions in the UK in addition to leading LGBT groups such as Stonewall.

Shaun's work features regularly on national television and in the press, including BBC Television's ‘Our School‘ - watch a clip here

Shaun has also written for the Times Educational Supplement, Gay Star News, The Guardian and he regularly blogs for the Huffington Post

Shaun is also on Twitter @ShaunDellenty

Shaun is also invited to recount his journey as an after-dinner speaker, where his previous life as a professional actor and presenter can re-emerge, indeed Shaun remains a fully paid up member of Actors Equity in addition to being a member of the National Association of Headteachers. Shaun recounts stories of his life and journey in education, in addition to the occasional recollection from acting in soaps and TV dramas.

Shaun also works abroad and has learned a lot from leading training in Budapest and the USA. Shaun has also given keynote speeches at national and international conferences and had his writing published. Shaun is also invited to serve as a guest facilitator and trainer.

97% of delegates at Shaun's training sessions since 2009 have judged them to be ‘Outstanding' OFSTED has observed Shaun's LGBT+ inclusion work on two occasions, remarking that it was ‘outstanding' and ‘much needed in every school' Her Majesty's Inspectorate also contacted Shaun when formulating their anti-homophobia guidance for School Inspectors.

Education & Previous Experience

Shaun was awarded a Bachelor or Education Degree from Leicester University in 1996. He then gained his NPQH in 2012 from the National College. Shaun has been working full time in education since 1996. In schools, key roles include Lead on Literacy and Behavior, Deputy Head, Acting Head and long term School Governor. Shaun also worked as a seconded part time Improving Schools Literacy Consultant in London for four years. Shaun was previously employed as a professional actor, presenter, voice over artist and corporate host. Prior to this Shaun worked as a Civil Servant and Town Planner.

Awards and Plaudits

  • January 2017 the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement included Shaun Dellenty on their 'Rainbow List' of those working to build bridges between faith and LGBT groups
  • May 2016 Designated as a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron (find out more at https://www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/2997-2/ and watch the clip
  • May 2016 Awarded ‘Education Champion Award' at Excellence In Diversity Awards (find out more here and watch the clip)
  • May 2016 Presented with the Mayor of Southwark's Highest Civic Honour at Southwark Cathedral for services to education - watch the clip
  • Shaun Dellenty identified as a ‘Pride Hero by members of the public for Pride In London's Advertising Campaign in 2015 - watch the clip
  • IFA nominated for the Brook/Pamela Sheridan Award 2013
  • Shaun Dellenty nominated for the Royal Air force 'Inspirational LGBT Role Model' at the 2013 g3/Out In The City Awards
  • IFA awarded Southwark Good Practice Award 2013
  • Shaun Dellenty nominated 'most compelling LGBT voice of 2013' by readers of The Huffington PostReaders of the Independent on Sunday place Shaun Dellenty on the 'Pink List' of the 101 most influential LGBT figures in the UK
  • Shaun Dellenty nominated 'Inspirational LGBT Role Model' at the National Diversity Awards 2013 IFA nominated 'LGBT Community Group' at 2013 National Diversity Awards
  • January 2017 the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement included Shaun Dellenty on their 'Rainbow List' of those working to build bridges between faith and LGBT groups

To make a booking enquiry for a training session, school assembly, lecture, Pride event, speech, public appearance, press, TV or radio interview please email bookings@inclusionforall.co.uk or call the dedicated booking line 07563 701076

To broker support or advice please email enquiries@inclusionforall.co.uk

My Journey - Shaun Dellenty

Leaving School and Losing Hope

I walked out of state education1987, out of an education system restricted from openly supporting LGBT+ students, parents or staff as a direct result of a horribly prejudicial piece of legislation from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative Party known as Clause/Section 28 which left schools and teachers too frightened to openly discuss, or often even positively acknowledge the existence of anyone whose identify was anything other than heterosexual or cisgender.

I’d known I was different for as long as I could remember and like so many others, I not only lacked positive LGBT+ role models but I had internalised a lifetime of prejudicial thoughts from society around me, including my own family, the media, my peers, my teachers, politicians and faith leaders. Having deeply internalised so many negative opinions, I not only hated myself but also other gay people. I was also internalising the voices telling me I ‘deserved to get AIDS’ and this was affecting my ability to make safe choices. In and around school I was being regularly openly and covertly bullied, with some attempting to use their knowledge of my LGBT+ identity to exert power and control over me.

As a result of these profoundly damaging experiences, I ultimately formed the conclusion that my presence on planet Earth was unwanted, irrelevant and maybe even the work of ‘the devil’.Education became the least important thing in my life, as the need to survive day to day took precedence.

In May 1987, when a conversation in which I first ‘came out to’ a school leader left me feeling rejected and hopeless, I walked out of the school gates and went home to pour one final bath, accompanied by a razor blade and Martini bottle as a chorus of judgemental internalised voices overwhelmed me, spurring me on to end my life. Yet from somewhere, arose a fleeting hopeful thought that if I made a choice to stay on this beautiful planet, perhaps the day would come when people such as myself would be accepted and be able to love without violence or judgement.

So I ultimately emptied the bath and put the razor blade way. I was one of the lucky ones- many do not share this privilege. For years afterwards I battled internalised homophobia and depression and sought to find happiness, flitting between badly fitting jobs and some damaging relationships.

Back To School

By 2009, I was back on track and working as a school leader in an inner city London primary school. I wasn’t openly gay with the pupils or parents, although some staff were aware of my identity, leading sometimes to homophobic comments or intrusive and inappropriate questions about my sex life. There was even an attempt to ‘turn me into a real man’ by a female colleague. In November 2009 the school undertook some pupil questionnaires about bullying and prejudice, a similar questionnaire was given to teachers, enquiring about their own confidence in preventing bullying.

The resulting data delivered the following sobering messages:

  • 75% of 7-11 year old pupils in and around the school were experiencing direct homophobic bullying on a daily basis.
  • The same number were also regularly hearing the word 'gay' used to describe something or somebody as rubbish, uncool or without worth.
  • 0% of staff felt they had been given training to prevent bullying related to LGBT+ identity (including I must add, myself)

In 2009 sexual orientation was yet to be included in the UK Equality Act, nor were Her Majesty's school’s inspectorate OFSTED advocating positive LGBT+ inclusion as they would (with some input from me) by 2013. Appalled by this data, I urged staff to consider how they would react had it had related to racist or disablist bullying; the staff agreed we would not hesitate to act, perhaps planning in relevant assemblies, targeted teaching and learning and by using BAME/differently abled role models.

Prejudice related to sexual orientation or gender identity is no different, resulting in only suffering for our diverse young people. Yet as a school we felt apprehensive about tackling LGBT+ prejudice in primary schools without legislative backing - it was also quite clear that there existed within the staff itself, a wide range of views about LGBT+ people and so in order to start deconstructing myths I immediately came out to the whole school community in an assembly, eliciting a very favourable response.

Education staff were also working still under the toxic shadow of Clause/Section 28, which despite being repealed in 2003, left a legacy of fear within the UK education system, placing many vulnerable young people at direct risk.

Inclusion For All

During Christmas 2010 I wrote a teacher training program called ‘Inclusion For All’ (IFA) drawing on my personal experiences as bullying survivor, class-teacher, part-time improving schools consultant and strategic school leader. In January 2010 and over the following months I delivered Inclusion For All first within my own school community, significantly reducing all types of prejudice related bullying in the process and resulting in 100% of pupils stating that they felt safe in school for the first time.

I then offered IFA to other schools across London to other interested parties. Very quickly the National Teaching College, Stonewall and the Department For Education enquired about my ground-breaking impact in primary schools and I was invited to speak at several national anti-bullying conferences. Press interest was highly positive with articles about my work in primary (and later secondary) schools, appearing in a variety of national newspapers and education journals. I continue to deliver IFA training right across the UK, in the form of workshops, twilight sessions and one day regional 'pop up conferences.’ I ran IFA training days in my own school, involving pupils and teaching colleagues in order to share their own good practice.

IFA was awarded the ‘Southwark Good Practice Award’ in 2013. I was voted one of the '101 most influential LGBT figures in the UK' by readers of the Independent on Sunday ‘Pink List’ in 2012 and 2013. I appeared on national and children's television, on the radio and was invited to write and blog for national press including The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and Times Educational Supplement and Gay Star News. In the absence of profit or formal funding I used YouTube, blogging, letter writing, and free social media to try and facilitate positive change within the government policy and the education system.

My work was increasingly reported globally and many messages and requests for help came via this very website, including invitations to work abroad. In 2012 my journey informed the play 'Hero' by EV Crowe at the Royal Court Theatre In London. In 2014 I delivered training to the House of Commons and I have since advised several times on Government Policy at Westminster. Since 2013 I have supported the Amnesty UK Teacher Training Program and I also helped produce the Amnesty LGBTQ Education Resource. I lecture for trainee teachers up and down the UK, in addition to serving as an inspirational speaker in school assemblies and at after dinner events. I have also been called upon to speak in banks and businesses.

In 2015 my work was recommended in the Church of England's anti LGBT+ bullying resource and I was invited to help launch the resource alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury which was filmed for national television. In 2015 my work was 'Highly Commended' at the National Excellence In Diversity Awards. By Spring 2017 I had personally trained over 10,000 UK education professionals and told my story to around 9,000 students in UK schools. I have now worked with many of the main teaching unions, teacher training providers, national anti-bullying organisations and child protection organisations. I have also provided lectures for business organisations such as banks, the police and NHS. I also speak at LGBT+ Pride Anti-Bullying Week and IDAHOBIT events.

For the past three years Brighton Actually Gay Men’s Chorus have kindly served as principle fund raisers and I can’t thank then enough for their love and support.

In 2016 I collaborated with HyperFusion Theatre Company to devise an anti-homophobia play for schools called ‘BOY’ inspired by my own work and other focus groups undertaken in schools. This play continues to tour UK schools and was performed in UK Parliament. In 2016 I helped pave the way for LGBT+ inclusion work in schools on the Isle of Man by speaking at the International Isle of Man Diversity Conference.

In May 2016 I was honoured with three major awards within the same week; the Education Champion Award at the Excellence In Diversity Awards, the Mayor of Southwark’s Highest Civil Honour awarded at Southwark Cathedral and a ‘Point of Light’ award from Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

In July 2016 I was also very happy to marry my long term partner at the Houses of Parliament. This continues to be an amazing, moving journey and it is a privilege to be undertaking work that the feedback tells me is changing lives, changing culture and touching hearts; I just wish my work wasn’t needed in the world and that human beings could learn to be more compassionate and accepting of difference.

The Future

As of September 2017 I am taking a break from full time school leadership and will use this opportunity I hope to make the very best of what IFA has achieved since 2009 whilst undertaking consultancy and part time work. If you are interested in supporting IFA’s move to the ‘next level’ in either sponsorship, practical or financial terms please email shaun@inclusionforall.co.uk Work ahead will involve a reframe of aims and vision, a new structure, new branding and a new website in time. Please keep checking back for updates.

Final Word

Since I first put my head above the parapet back in 2009, many of you have kindly taken the time to write, Tweet, email, and talk to me at conferences or even when I am just out shopping or socialising to share your own experiences of prejudice and bullying. Where time allows I endeavour to reply to as many as I can in person. I want you to know that each story touches me and makes me even more determined to make a difference, not just for the sake of children and young people in schools now, but also for generations of children yet to come and for all of those of you who suffered.

The timeframe of the stories you have shared with me reached back out to the early 1900s right to the present day; horrific, heart-breaking stories of bullying, self-harm, suicide and so many lives young and old blighted in passage through our education systems whilst governments and schools failed to act.

I am also deeply concerned about the shift towards intolerance and exclusion that seems to be going on at home and abroad - there is still much to be done and I pledge to do what I can to help. There is still much for me to learn; however I have found that my key skill seems to be advocacy, building bridges, opening doors and making people feel less governed by their prejudice, bias, fears and misconceptions. In 1968 I was born an optimistic, happy and loving child onto this beautiful planet, yet years of prejudice resulted in me hating myself, cutting myself and wanting to end my life. I harbour no anger, no judgement, but I do want to try to ensure in my own small way and with my limited means that no child suffers in this way again.

If you are suffering now, please reach out for help, you can call UK Samaritans on 116 123 or Childline on 0800 1111. Please do not lose hope - there can and will be a better place for you- you are beautiful and you belong. Thank you for your time and interest.

Be kind, be safe, be authentic, be proud, be you. Keep hopeful.

Love light and respect - Shaun Dellenty

Inclusion For All - Overview

  • Inclusion for All is an umbrella term for a series of training strategies developed and piloted by Shaun Dellenty alongside serving teachers education professionals that aim to foster positive LGBT+ inclusion in schools and communities, thus aiming to significantly reduce incidents of prejudice related bullying and language. In addition, IFA has advised on policy and strategy at school, borough, national and international level.
  • IFA aims to create safe spaces for LGBT+ children and those perceived to be LGBT+
  • IFA aims to empower schools to develop cognitive empathy from the outset, to represent the diversity of family life in the 21st century without assumption or judgement and to take great joy in celebrating heritage and diversity in authentic individuals and whole school communities from the very first day in nursery.
  • IFA is about evoking individual, organisation and cultural change
  • IFA does not have all the answers, it has not been written by Equality and Diversity specialists, but by hard working teachers and a serving school leader, we are committed to new learning over time in order to reflect the emergence of new behaviours, identities and trends, IFA is rooted in schools and teaching.
  • IFA’s ethos places the needs of children first and can be offered as whole school INSET, one day conferences, twilights, and/or strategic support for leadership teams, parents, individual teachers and governors. Training is inspiring, reflective, lively and interactive and will enable organisations to identify, acknowledge, understand and negate the barriers to tackling prejudice within individuals and organisations. In this way schools will be able to meet their statutory and OFSTED requirements. Training included an exclusive whole school audit tool in order to help your school on its journey and identify next steps.
  • IFA founder Shaun Dellenty also delivers inspiring school assemblies and lectures at Primary, Secondary and HE level.

A range of feedback can be found under the Testimonials Tab


Praise for Shaun’s Work From Politicians, Public Figures and Celebrities

  • ‘Shaun’s anti-bullying programme Inclusion For All is having a fantastic impact on increasing awareness of homophobia in schools. By equipping teachers to speak to children about these issues he is helping make sure future generations will not face the prejudice that he and many others in the LGBT community had to endure’ Prime Minister David Cameron
  • ‘I am pleased to read that you are supporting the National College by highlighting how important it is for schools to tackle homophobic bullying and making available, via your website, materials to help them. Your figures indicate a significant reduction in the percentage of students who hear homophobic language on a daily basis which demonstrates that difference can be made. I agree with you that we must tackle the use of the word ‘gay’ as a form of abuse. I have made it clear that I expect teachers to react to this is the same manner as they would an offensive racial slur’ Nick Gibb MP
  • ‘It inspires me to see the work people like yourself are doing, it encourages me to continue with my small contribution’ Cllr Matthew Hulbert (Politician)
  • ‘Great work Shaun-thanks’ Martina Navratilova (Tennis legend)
  • ‘I love the fact that your work is having impact in the right places Shaun’ Holly Johnson (Singer)
  • ‘You are clearly an extraordinary individual.’ Thea Gill (actor Queer As Folk USA)
  • ‘Shaun Dellenty delivers exceptional holistic support for schools seeking to embed and celebrate equality’ Show Racism The Red Card (Charity)
  • ‘Much admiration for your work’ Peter Tatchell (Legendary Human Rights Activist)
  • ‘To go against the norm to break down barriers, change lives and right wrongs takes very special people. Great to see Shaun Dellenty honoured’ Martyn Butler (Founder of Terrance Higgins Trust- HIV Activist)
  • ‘I sang at Labours LGBT Manifesto launch tonight and praised them for their promise of International LGBT Envoy. I nominated you for the job live on stage!’ David Mcalmont (Singer)
  • ‘Huge congratulations on your work’ Katy Manning (Actor Dr Who)
  • ‘Thank you sir for your leadership’ Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City Author)
  • ‘The Mayor’s Special Award is presented to Shaun Dellenty for his work to combat LGBT bullying in schools’ (Southwark Assembly)
  • ‘So proud to see Shaun Dellenty receive his award for combating bullying- wonderful’ Andrew Nunn (Dean of Southwark)

On Shaun Dellenty as educator, speaker, trainer and LGBT+ role model

(Comments Drawn From Excellence In Diversity Award Nominations 2014-2016)
  • ‘Shaun works tirelessly up and down the country to train teachers and other staff working with children in how to effectively challenge and eradicate LGBT+ bullying. His work is done from the belief that no LGBT+ child should be bullied. Shaun is a tireless campaigner for human rights.’
  • ‘An inspiration. A hero in my eyes’
  • ‘Shaun impacts many people’s lives and he saves people’s lives’
  • ‘I can think of no-one who has done more to combat homophobic bullying and language in schools than Shaun, he is an inspiration to us all.’
  • ‘In my role as Head of NSPCC Safe Networks I worked closely with Shaun to develop an awareness raising session, face to face and via webinar for Safe Network’s LGBT History Month activity. Shaun was absolutely amazing throughout the process of planning and delivery. He was professional at all times. In 2015 we won the 2015 ‘British LGBT Award for Charity/Community initiative of the year and have no doubt this was in part to Shaun’
  • ‘An excellent role model of a professional person fighting for change for vulnerable youth’
  • ‘The Amnesty Teacher Programme is a pioneering year of CPD enabling teachers to bring human rights education into their schools. Shaun Dellenty has worked with Amnesty International to deliver workshops to our cohorts of Amnesty Teachers. Shaun is an extraordinarily powerful presenter who effectively communicates the vital nature of this work’ His inspiring sessions have enabled our Amnesty Teachers to address the serious issue of bullying in their schools. Amnesty Teachers have also used elements of Shaun’s whole school approach to address other human rights issues in their schools’ Amnesty UK Education Team
  • ‘I worked with Shaun in delivering input on challenging homophobia in schools. He is brave, challenging and a powerful speaker using his own experiences to engage with the issues’
  • ‘Shaun is an extraordinary communicator with a strong sense of compassion and deep understanding of humanity. His voice should be heard in every school and education establishment around the world. I urge every teacher and parent to hear him out’ (TEDx Hackney)
  • ‘Helping our young people be safe and helping them understand that bullying has no place in a modern world is paramount to a decent and civilised future. Shaun is a leading light in this area, delivering exceptional work against the odds’
  • ‘Shaun is a role model for the whole education sector’
  • ‘Shaun is an inspiration. He delivered a very motivating talk to my university. What an important role model for all of us’
  • ‘Shaun gave an inspiring after dinner speech at the NASUWT Conference’
  • ‘Inspirational, heartfelt speaker. He invites you into his world so you can make change within yours’
  • ‘Shaun Dellenty is a legend and a hero to many and he leads by example- a fantastic inspiring example to us all’

Feedback From Schools

  • Shaun was very engaging indeed. Year 10 students thought he was very brave!’ (Head of Year 10)
  • ‘Shaun talked about being gay so openly, we really appreciated that, it’s what made it so interesting!’ (Year 9 pupil)
  • ‘Pupils and staff really enjoyed him - I thought it was very powerful to have the personal testimony from someone in education - also, he was funny and energetic - he shot a hole through every possible justification of prejudice.’ (Assistant Head)
  • ‘Our first PSHE lesson on homosexuality was complemented really well by the more direct approach in the assembly and I liked the personal aspect very much of Shaun’s delivery, it was well worth the wait!’ (Form tutor and curriculum developer)
  • ‘Our students were engaged at all times. The shocking input at the beginning about people taking their own lives due to homophobic bullying really got their attention. He was able to clearly explain the impact of bullying on him which really hit home with the students, His manner was engaging and interesting. Three teachers so far have said his input was much needed by FHS students. His message was very clear that you do not have to support or agree with being gay, but you must not cause harm, and you must show people respect. The message also about using the word "gay" as a term of insult was also very clear.’ (Head of House)
  • ‘It is one of the first times I have heard a pupil genuinely declare that they felt inspired after an end of day assembly!’ (Head of House)
  • ‘Our children loved him, when can you come back?’ Faith School Head

Comments on Shaun’s Inclusion For All Training From Teachers/School Leaders/School Governors/Non-Teaching Staff from feedback forms

  • ‘Outstanding-Shaun’s work should be in every school’ (House of Commons Delegate)
  • ‘Engaging, interactive, interesting and inspirational’
  • ‘An invaluable tool to assess your own prejudices and practice and subsequently develop a safe and respectful environment for all children where they are valued and celebrated for who they are’
  • ‘Motivational, inspirational and achievable’
  • ‘It was worth me taking the day off work!’
  • ‘Extremely powerful- it has given me and my staff so much to think about.’
  • ‘It gave me a greater understanding of the issues related to LGBT+ bullying and how it can affect attainment for pupils.’
  • ‘Our journey starts here, tackling homophobic bullying is long overdue and hopefully we can all make it a thing of the past.’
  • ‘Provided a really comprehensive overview of the impact of prejudice related bullying, but crucially the range of whole school approaches that can be effective in tackling it.’
  • ‘Really worthwhile course which all schools should access, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain by signing up. Prepare to be educated, moved and inspired.’
  • ‘Just amazing and inspiring-every school should hear these messages.’
  • After this course I prepared, poised and passionate about celebrating diversity and eradicating LGBT+ bullying’

Feedback on Shaun’s University Lectures

  • ‘Powerful lecture by an inspiring teacher. Equality and safety for all children’ (London South Bank)
  • ‘Thanks for the great lecture at Derby Uni! It was incredible and inspiring!’ (University of Derby)
  • ‘Outstanding lecture which has completely opened my mind. Best lecture so far this year, spoke so much truth’ (Student delegate at Nottingham University)
  • ‘Engaging, informative and inspirational. Shaun grabbed the attention of the room and held it whilst exploring LGBT+ bullying in a sensitive and humorous manner’ (Liverpool John Moore’s University)