In March 2015 Educate & Celebrate a charity working in transforming schools and organisations into LGBT+Friendly places led a successful consortium bid for a government grant designed to help schools tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying. The consortium includes the SHM Foundation and Goldsmiths University of London Department of Education.
The programme involves working with 60 schools across England evenly split between primary and secondary, including ‘hard-to-reach’ schools such as faith or rural schools to make them accredited Educate & Celebrate best practice centres. In each school a member of staff is trained up as an Educate & Celebrate coordinator (ECCO) whose role it is to embed good practice and to at a later disseminate the learning to neighbouring schools in their community once they have made their own school LGBT+Friendly.
Educate & Celebrate applies its tried and tested Ofsted-recognised whole-school approach via their best practice 5 point delivery plan which focusses on training, policy, curriculum, community and the environment engaging all stakeholders including students, staff, parents, governors.
The project ensures that staff are empowered and confident to challenge, report, monitor and respond to HBT bullying and engage students with an LGBT+Inclusive curriculum.
As well as supporting all students and teachers within the school, LGBT+ display is made visible throughout the school in classrooms, corridors and the library with welcome messages at reception. This positive message is emphasised in assemblies and lessons and through participation in LGBT+ events and campaigns lead by the schools Pride Youth Network or school council.
Feedback from teachers and students in response to the programme has been very encouraging:
‘I am proud to be part of this project and proud that Birmingham found Educate & Celebrate to lead this groundbreaking work’
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson Headteacher Anderton Park School
The Educate & Celebrate teacher training and resource programme is available to all schools and organisations: http://www.educateandcelebrate.org/