Schools Programme

Working with schools in London to achieve a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) young people, and those questioning their sexuality to play, learn and thrive.


Working with schools in London to achieve a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) young people, and those questioning their sexuality to play, learn and thrive.

"Schools are the ideal place to address homophobic bullying thanks to the significant contribution they make to the development of solid values and positive attitudes in young children".

(Department for Education, 2010)


Poster 3

 


School children face many challenges at an age which can prove to be difficult anyway. Yet, for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people, this can be a traumatic time for them in the home, the school and outside.

"this project helped me a lot while I was at school, merely knowing that there was support and someone to talk to took a huge weight of my shoulders"

North London Secondary School Pupil, 15

We can help you ensure that your school is a safe, inclusive and friendly environment for LGBT pupils, parents and staff.


Introduction from Chief Executive - Tim Franks

Chief Executive, Tim FranksFor young people, the experience of secondary school extends far beyond academic learning: children form their identities extensively, and gain invaluable experience of forming relationships during these crucial years.

Coming out remains a huge challenge for the majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and can lead to a backlash of discrimination and violence.  PACE's ongoing research into young LGBT people's experience of school shows that 55% experienced bullying at school because they were LGBT, and only 5% reported having any anti-homophobia/transphobia classes or activities in school[1].

Homophobia is rife within Britain's schools...At an age where conformity and acceptance is important, young people may find it difficult coming to terms with their sexuality, and in order to avoid potential rejection from family and friends, often conceal their sexual/gender identity, which could have an acutely detrimental effect on their mental health.

This issue extends beyond the school gates: The YouGov survey of 1700 LGB people in the UK found 90% experience harassment and homophobic insults as a result of their perceived sexualityand 20% have experienced physical homophobic hate crimes[2]. It is important to note here, that homophobic bullying does not just affect LGBT people: Friends or relatives of LGBT people; those who are thought to be LGBT; those who are just seen as 'different' are all likely to experience homophobic bullying.

Teachers are in the ideal position to set the standards for all young people, and enhance their understanding of difference and diversity.As teachers, you are looked up to by children and young people for guidance and leadership, and it is therefore vital that you have the tools, information and support to confidently discuss sensitive issues such as sexuality/gender identity. This will help to develop young people into adults who understand and respect difference, and who feel respected if they are different.

Schools where homophobia is challenged are more likely to produce confident and happy young adults, who are respectful of diversity.

Tim Franks

Chief Executive


[1] PACE First Time Experiences: 2009/10 Survey (ongoing)

[2]www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/june/26/equality.gayrights


Training

PACE is offering a FREE package of support regarding LGBT issues to your school, your pupils and their familiesPACE Trainer

 This support includes (but is not restricted to):

  • FREE Play looking at issues relating to sexuality and race available to year 9 & 10 pupils (normally costs around £350 or more)
  • School staff training on LGBT issues
  • 1:1 support for individuals under the age of 18 who have issues relating to their sexuality, or gender identity
  • Under 18's Counselling
  • Family Therapy and support sessions (either individually, or 'whole family' sessions).

"I liked the way terminology was really qualified. I also found advice on how to deal with specific situations helpful...It's given me a lot of confidence about how to deal with the issues"

- Teacher training participant 


Poster 2


Theatre in Education 'Them & Us'

Theatre in Education

PACE works in conjunction with the Little Fish Theatre Company, to provide an exciting theatre production for schools which deals with issues relating to race, and sexuality.

This Theatre Production is aimed at pupils in years 9 & 10.

Teacher training is provided, by PACE and further follow-up support is available.

If you would like to have the TIE play performed in your school, click here to send an e-mail.


Message from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson"The impact of teaching staff openly and consistently confronting homophobic prejudice cannot be underestimated - many under 16 year-olds have had little, if any, experience in their everyday lives of openly gay people and others that consistently challenge homophobia. I therefore hope that this project will encourage school staff and young people who are involved with it to work together, challenge their own beliefs and work towards a school culture that condemns homophobia and supports students who are not identifying as heterosexual."

- Boris Johnson, Mayor of London