Almost 18 months after launching Opting Out, it is time to open the site to everyone. We gave exclusive use of Opting Out to primary schools to show how they accommodate families and staff who do not share the same belief system of the school’s ethos.
I set 3 deadline dates for schools to avail of the opportunity and even offered to generate a complete accommodation policy. There was no agenda, no charge and no strings attached.
I am very grateful to the IPPN who gave me the space to share the site in their Leadership+ magazine which reaches almost every principal in the country. They also gave me the opportunity to mention the website in a number of their fora. Almost every principal in country is now aware of the site.
I asked every management body and every representative body to help share the site to give schools the opportunity to demonstrate their level of inclusiveness. This correspondence is available to read on the website.
I promised that after the school year 2018/19, I would open the site up to the public. This will give anyone the opportunity to state how they believe their local school is accommodating families who do not subscribe to the faith of their school. In order to ensure accuracy, I have added a verification system to the site. Schools that are marked with a blue tick are deemed to be verified by the school and, thus, can be 100% trusted.
I am also conscious that sometime the public can get it wrong so every school profile will have 3 buttons at the bottom of the profile. A school can take over any unverified account and control exactly what is displayed. A school can correct inaccurate information. A school can also ask for its information to be removed from the site.
For the latter of these options, any school that does not wish to disclose how they accommodate people of different faiths, (and I would be baffled to understand why this would be), the school name will remain but the profile will indicate that the school does not wish for their information to be displayed.
The idea of this website remains the same. There is nothing here to trick anyone or make anyone look bad. It’s important to simply state the facts.