Our Mediator, male or female, has done his/her homework. The Mediator has spoken to all the relevant parties + listened. The Mediator understands their priorities, their problems + their outlook. The Mediator is ready to act, to go on to the front foot + suggest a way forward. There are Two Options;-
First, the gender issue should be closed down. The Head should speak to the Boy + the Parents and reassure them that she will bring an end to any idle chatter in the School about gender issues. She will address the Teachers + issue an instruction to come down hard on any pupil that adopts a “giggling” approach. She will advise the Chair of Governors not to make the issue a matter for Council Board meetings. She will also take a firm line with any teacher who goes against her instruction.
There is an alternative option. The Head recognises that the gender issue is growing in importance. It is mentioned in the media, and circulars have been received from the Education Ministry + the Teaching Unions. It is not going away. It is a problem in Society – not just in schools. Norms are changing + School Heads need an alternative approach + take initiatives to handle the challenge of sexual preference and gender issues openly, and not secretly.
Both options carry risks. Gender is a much-discussed issue. It is private + public at the same time. The media will be alert + sniffing around for “a story”. The Mediator, instinctively, prefers the second option and proposes a series of initiatives to the Head. If the Head is on board, then other initiatives follow with the Boy, the Parents, the Pupils, the Common Room, the Board of Governors – may be even the teaching unions.
EPISODE 6 – TUESDAY 31 AUGUST 2021
THE MEDIATOR ACTS
MY NEXT ARBITRATION ISSUE WILL FOCUS ON S34 ARBITRATION ACT 1996 WITH A FACTUAL NARRATIVE.