1. To provide free support and guidance to teachers and school staff
2. To challenge anti-LGBTQIA+ bigotry in schools
3. To provide guidance on an LGBTQIA+ inclusive curriculum
Why we do this
We’re a volunteer run project aimed at supporting teachers in LGBTQIA+ inclusive teaching. LGBTQIA+ inclusion extends far beyond PSHE and into the language that we as teachers use, the policies we adopt, the activities we include in our lessons and tutor times, as well as our interactions with students, parents and staff. The project is headed by Allie – a bisexual, genderqueer English, Media and PSHE teacher – and our volunteers are LGBTQIA+ members of the teaching and academic communities who are all passionate about equality and inclusion.
A note from Allie:
Growing up under Section 28, a piece of legislation which disallowed the “promotion of homosexuality”, I understood little about my sexuality until sixth form and the repeal of S28. It took me until I was twenty-five to understand my gender.
We live in a culture where heterosexuality and cisgender identity is both the norm and an assumed default. At best, young LGBTQIA+ students have their identities erased on a daily basis; though many also experience discrimination and bigotry – whether direct or indirect – that can have adverse affect on their well-being and their achievement.
As a queer teacher, I was astounded by quite how rife the use of “gay” as a pejorative term was- and, in my PGCE and NQT years, I struggled with how to address this. When I started working with a local LGBTQIA+ youth charity, I was equipped with the skills on how to call this culture out – yet also realised quite how much there was still to tackle.
As teachers, we are under enormous pressure, and a sense of community and support is vital. The vast majority of school staff say they are uncertain as to how to promote LGBTQIA+ inclusion and whilst CPD is available, it can be costly and is not necessarily a priority for schools with rising pressures upon them. However, this inclusion is vital for the students – a fact which is now recognised by Ofsted.
We aim to provide support to teachers and school staff, with advice on how to ensure a daily culture of inclusion, so that school can be a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQIA+ students.