Rainbow Teachers

Rainbow paint brush 

PPTA's Rainbow Taskforce for Safe Schools has been operating for about 14 years. Its job is to help make secondary schools safe and welcoming places for  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students, family/whanau members and teachers.

Link to PPTA webpage Contact Rainbow taskforce members

pdf icon Affirming diversity of sexualities and gender identities in the school community: guidelines (2012)

Link to PPTA webpage Resources for LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) students, teachers, and families/whanau

PPTA maintains an email network for members interested in being kept informed about issues for LGBTI teachers and students and about the work of the Rainbow Taskforce.  You don't have to be LGBTI yourself, just interested in the issues and keen to support PPTA's work in this area.  The network receives an average of one email per term with news, links to interesting articles, and so on.  If you would like to join this network, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask to be added to the list.


Notes from Rainbow Taskforce meeting Monday 16 May 2016

Notes from Rainbow Taskforce meeting Monday 16 May 2016

New members
Matters arising from previous meeting
Safer Schools for All workshop schedule for 2016
Proud Conference
Out in the Park 2016
Pink Shirt Day 2016
Visitors: Ara Taiohi Rainbow Competency Framework
Day of Silence 2016 – Jerome


New members

There were two new members of the group at this meeting: Kirsty Farrant, incoming Advisory Officer currently at Newlands College, and a newTe Huarahi representative, Cecelia Pakinga of John Paul College in Rotorua.   Other members of the Taskforce, all of whom were present, are: Shawn Cooper (Convenor), Jerome Cargill, Angela King, Michael Tarry, and Vinnie Monga.   Judie Alison (staff) was in attendance.  

Matters arising from previous meeting

•    Jerome was congratulated on his work on producing items for PPTA News, which have been appearing with great frequency.  
•    We discussed again the matter of a possible STCA claim about maternity leave and the maternity grant for male primary caregivers.  Judie explained that this is a problem in the legislation, not just in our collectives.  Various options for getting this addressed before or in the next STCA round were discussed.  
•    Curriculum resources – it was suggested that we could ask the Rainbow Network to generate some of these.  Shawn said he was investigating Schoology for this purpose.  

Safer Schools for All workshop schedule for 2016

Judie noted that the workshops were in high demand this year, with 25 requests so far, including late requests coming in all the time.  Seven workshops had been done already, and by the end of Term 2 fourteen would have been completed.   


Safer classrooms for all. Anti-homophobia workshops in schools

The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce update on their "Safe classrooms for all" anti-homophobia workshops in schools (March 2016).Speaking out - antihomophobia workshops article graphic

PPTA anti-homophobia workshops

After a very successful trial in 2012 of its ‘Safer Classrooms for All’ workshops for school staff, PPTA has continued to offer these sessions to schools each year since then. 

The sessions address the issue of bullying of students and other members of the wider school community who are perceived to be different because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

There are a number of different aspects to the sessions, and while the presenter generally touches on all of them, they have the ability to respond to a school’s needs by focusing on particular aspects, such as
•    General awareness of the range of sexual orientations and gender identities including appropriate language;
•    The regulatory framework that requires schools to be proactive in this area;
•    Data about the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in New Zealand secondary schools (from the Auckland University Youth 2000 series of surveys);
•    Strategies that teachers can use to promote a safe environment for all students.

PPTA will deliver the workshop at the request of a principal, and this ensures that the session and the work that will need to follow have the support of the school’s senior leadership.  It is important, if the session is to have a positive impact in a school, that all teaching staff are expected to attend, and that the senior leadership team of the school are active participants in the session too. 

The PLD is provided at no cost to the school, and PPTA encourages schools in more isolated areas whose access to PLD is often limited to request a workshop. 


Inside Out videos - a new diversity resource

InsideOutAtParliamentLaunchA new video resource aimed at teaching acceptance of gender and sexual diversity has been launched throughout the country. PPTA Rainbow Taskforce member Jerome Cargill gets the inside scoop on Inside Out.

Inside Out is a new video-based learning resource to help increase understanding and support the teaching and acceptance of gender and sexuality diversity.

With funding from the Ministry of Social Development, the resource has been a collaborative project between RainbowYOUTH, Core Education, University of Auckland and Curative. The videos feature a wide range of New Zealanders with diverse genders and sexualities.

Nationwide launch

The resource has been launched across New Zealand in the past few months with events being hosted in Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington, Nelson, Hamilton and Whangarei, with more to come. Alongside these launch events, professional development workshops have been offered targeting teachers that might use the resource in their classrooms.

The resource is aligned with the objectives of the health curriculum including fostering healthy communities, sexual health, sexuality education and interpersonal skills and attitudes. It will help teachers and schools in implementing the new Sexuality Education Guidelines released earlier this year.


Rainbow taskforce 2016

Contact names for the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) Rainbow taskforce representatives. The Rainbow taskforce meets regularly and is happy to hear from members.   


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Newlands College
Jerome is in his fifth year of teaching, and has shown leadership on LGBTI issues in his own school including establishing, with the help of his colleagues, a support group for LGBTI students.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Avondale College
Kia ora. As a senior specialist teacher of Biology and in my role as the Specialist Classroom Teacher at Avcol, I have the good fortune to work with both staff and students toward creating safe, inclusive and engaging learning environments in which all students can be who they are and strive achieve at the highest levels. Serving as a part of the leadership team for PB4L at my school has assisted me in developing whole school strategies to combat the issues of bullying and exclusion; from the school yard to classrooms, playing fields and the gymnasium where I coach the school volleyball teams. As the current Rainbow Taskforce Convener I have been involved on the steering committee for Pink Shirt Day, participated in the development of the Inside Out teaching and learning resources in collaboration with Rainbow youth and Core Education, and facilitated PPTA Safer Schools for All professional development sessions for schools, university teacher trainees and the Auckland School Nurses Group. I look forward to continuing this PLD and collaborating with other teachers passionate about making a difference or gender and sexually diverse students across Aotearoa.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Central Regional Health School

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Fairfield College
Kia ora koutou. I am a school guidance counsellor at Fairfield College and the PPTA Executive member for Waikato. I have been on the Taskforce since 2010 and have been privileged in working with committed colleagues. My passion is social justice for all. " Be kind and treat people the way you want to be treated". He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata". No reira tena koutou katoa. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - John Paul College

Michael Tarry - Hato Petera College


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - PPTA National Office


Notes from the Rainbow Taskforce meeting of 31 July 2014

rainbow paint brushNotes from the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce meeting 31 July 2014

New members
Youth 2012 reports
Pink Shirt Day 2014
Day of Silence 2014
Core Education video teaching resources
PB4L Bullying guidelines
Rainbow Network


Notes from the Rainbow Taskforce meeting of 4 October 2013

Notes from the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce meeting 4 October 2013.

Pink Shirt Day
Changes in youth groups
Safer schools for all workshops
Youth 2012 research
CTU Out @ Work
Membership of the Taskforce
Next meeting

Pink Shirt Day

We talked about our experience of working with the Mental Health Foundation who now organise Pink Shirt Day. Shawn Cooper, who is based in Auckland, will join the Pink Shirt Day committee along with Judie Alison, and he may be able to get to some of the meetings in person.  His school, Avondale College, had a lot of activity on Pink Shirt Day 2013.

Pink Shirt Day in 2014 is Friday May 23 – put it in your calendars.