A CHARTER pledging to promote respect for all has been signed by the Otley Family of Schools.

Otley Courthouse hosted a big celebratory launch event for the Equality and Diversity Charter on Friday, June 30.

The launch featured performances from all the member schools* and talks by guests including MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) and Town Mayor Councillor Nigel Francis (Ind, Danefield).

Other special guests included Otley Ambassador and CP Teens Ambassador Chloe Tear and Leeds City council's Executive Member for Children's Services, Councillor Lisa Mulherin.

The participating groups included Otley Welcomes and Otley Women Together while the themes covered, using music, poems and drama, ranged from gender stereotypes to autism.

Assistant Headteacher: Learning Community at Prince Henry's, Christopher Lillington, said: "The charter embeds the global citizenship values on which we, as a group of schools, work with our students of every age to create inclusive and outward looking communities.

"These values are such an important part of the work which we do in our schools and this charter will give us a real opportunity to share them with our wider community.

"Otley, Pool and Bramhope are very welcoming communities and, as schools, we work with individuals and groups across the area.

"We are very much looking forward to developing this with everyone."

The Charter revolves around seven key principles: respect; challenging stereotypes; equality; actively creating a better society; good relationships between all people; valuing the world’s diversity and making the world a fairer place.

It states that: "The staff and governors of all the schools in the Otley family have agreed to work in partnership to combat all forms of discrimination, celebrate diversity and promote community cohesion.

"This is a statement of our commitment to develop further existing good practice."

It goes on to say that the schools will work to ensure everyone is treated with respect and 'challenge stereotypes, prejudices and behaviours which divide our society'.

It concludes: "We will help our young people to develop the values they need to become responsible global citizens who help to make the world a fairer place."

The charter builds on the work that has been done by the schools since they launched an Anti-Racism Charter in 2010.

*The Family of Schools comprises: Otley All Saints C of E Primary, Ashfield Primary, Bramhope Primary, Pool C of E Primary, Prince Henry's Grammar School, St Joseph's Catholic Primary, The Whartons Primary and Westgate Primary.