Find out more about School Diversity Week, why LGBT+ inclusive education matters, what your school can do to support LGBT+ students and how Beyond are getting involved.
Who Are Just Like Us?
Just Like Us is the LGBT+ charity for young people. Their goal is to empower young people from the classroom to their careers. They work to organise Pride Groups and Ambassador programmes in addition to School Diversity Week, which takes place from the 22nd to 26th of June.
School Diversity Week is a national celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality in education. Your school can sign up for a free School Diversity Week toolkit as well download our weekly Beyond Debate Packs that we will be releasing throughout the remainder of June.
Why Is LGBT+ Inclusive Education So Important?
The whole school community does better when everyone is included, and difference is celebrated. Many students and teachers are the target of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse – including when they are not LGBT+ themselves. In a school which doesn’t act to make this better, LGBT+ students may feel as if they have no one to turn to or simply lack a voice. By working to promote LGBT+ inclusivity and acceptance in your school, you can provide these students with a voice as well as the support networks they need to express themselves and their concerns openly. Unfortunately, the impact of LGBT+ bullying in schools can have profoundly damaging, lasting effects on those that are bullied:
- 45% of LGBT+ students are bullied. Almost half of these young people do not report it.
- 40% of LGBT+ students aren’t taught anything about LGBT+ issues in school.
- 40% of bullied LGBT+ students skip school.
- 52% of LGBT+ students report that bullying has negatively impacted their future educational plans.
- 84% of trans students have self-harmed. 61% of lesbian, gay and bi students have self-harmed.
- 45% of trans pupils have attempted to take their own life. 22% of LGB students have attempted to take their own life.
How Can School Diversity Week Help?
Knowing where to start can be the hardest part of helping LGBT+ students find their voice within your school as some members of staff may not feel equipped or confident to discuss LGBT+ issues in the classroom.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Run LGBT+ training for teachers and staff, empowering them with new knowledge and the means to tackle instances of LGBT+ bullying.
- Organise events or fundraisers with student input during School Diversity Week
- Use LGBT+ resources throughout the year to promote an LGBT+ inclusive curriculum.
- Create an action plan to keep LGBT+ equality on the school agenda throughout the year.
- Create LGBT+ inclusive school policies.
- Empower students to organise Pride Groups.
All of these ideas are detailed in the School Diversity Week toolkit along with detailed FAQs, defined terms, and templates for schools to use when contacting parents or carers. Each school will find that different approaches work for them and their students but, whatever it is you choose to do, the School Diversity Week Toolkit is designed to make it easy and accessible.
How Are Beyond Helping?
Beyond are passionate about inclusivity, acceptance and diversity and we’re proud to be working with Just Like Us to bring you classroom resources that will equip you with the means to discuss LGBT+ issues in the classroom.
Throughout the month of June, we will be releasing a new Debate Pack each week for free. These debate packs will guide students through the topics of LGBT+ equality, representation in the media and how schools can work together with LGBT+ pupils and staff, allowing them to be themselves.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Beyond for access to thousands of secondary teaching resources. You can sign up for a free account here and take a look around at our free resources before you subscribe too.