Advice for schools

Diversity Role Models give young people the confidence to be who they are and allow others to do the same. Our workshops feature positive LGBT or straight ally role models who speak directly to young people about their experiences. Through hearing these stories first hand and asking questions, young people gain a greater understanding of the impact of homophobia and transphobia and the positive contribution they can make. We empower them to bring about change themselves and make homophobic and gender-based bullying a thing of the past.

To date we've worked with over 70 schools and reached over 11,000 pupils. Of these, 96% indicate that they would treat a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender person better after the workshop, while 94% indicated they would use the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term less in the future.

Resources to help with homophobic bullying

Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (Each) provide training, resources and support to help tackle homophobic bullying.

Stonewall has a host of resources and research as part of Education for All, their campaign against homophobic bullying.

Schools Out provide a formal and informal support network for all people who want to raise the issue of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexism in education.

Educate and Celebrate give teachers the confidence and resources to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia by engaging students and staff in an inclusive LGBT curriculum.

FAQs

The following FAQs may help you to understand a little more about our work, why we do this and how we help.

 Why have you set up Diversity Role Models?

LGBT students are three times more likely to attempt suicide.  Seven out of ten lesbian and gay young people say homophobic bullying affects their school work and many have skipped school because of it.  One in six have been subjected to death threats, and 52% have heard homophobic comments from teachers and school staff. 

Homophobic bullying can affect all young people, not just LGBT students, but particularly those who don’t fit prescribed gender stereotypes. In schools where homophobic bullying is tackled, students are 60% less likely to be bullied, but research shows that most teachers do not have the skills or training to deal with the issue.

We set up Diversity Role Models to tackle this widespread problem, and show young people a positive alternative to homophobic and transphobic bullying.

 What do you do?

We run workshops in schools that gently challenge stereotypes and prejudice.  We also engage with the senior management team and staff to make a sustained difference in how the school prevents and responds to bullying of this nature.

In primary schools our workshops look at different families, for example having two mums or dads. In secondary schools run workshops with positive role models.  These role models can be gay or straight, but all agree it's OK to be different and will demonstrate this through talking about their lives.

We don't force views on young people; we try to help them understand difference. This gives hope to LGBT young people and reduces bullying by encouraging empathy and reducing fear.

 Who runs the workshops?

All of our workshops are run by trained facilitators.

 How do you know it works?

Of the 11,000+ students we have seen in our first three years, 96% would treat an LGBT person better, and 94% would try to use the word 'gay' less in the pejorative. We've had great feedback from students and teachers alike.  They say it makes a real difference to them and their schools.

 How much do you charge for workshops?

Our workshops cost £100 for a single session or £400 for a day. We do not make an additional charge for travel or accommodation. If you would like a workshop in your school, but unable to afford the cost, please get in touch, as we may be able to offer a discount in certain circumstances.

 Doesn't Stonewall do work like this already?

We are a teacher-led organization and speak directly to young people, bringing them into contact with role models who they can relate to.

Stonewall has done some very important research on this issue and produce excellent resources which complement our campaign.  We encourage schools to utilise these.

 Who are your role models?

We have trained over 100 role models.  They often have direct experience of the issues involved, through being LGBT themselves or through friends and family.  Our role models come from a range of backgrounds. They are all interviewed and trained before going into schools.

 Where do you get your funding from?

Like any charities, our funding comes from a variety of sources, including donations from individuals, sponsorship from companies and grants from charitable trusts and foundations.

 Where do you run workshops?

Diversity Role Models is based in London, but we deliver workshops right across the country. We have delivery teams in Liverpool and Birmingham and, between us, have covered the length and breadth of the country, from Dorset to Edinburgh. If you would like a workshop in your school, please get in touch to see if we are able deliver one in your area.

 What kind of schools do you visit?

We approach faith schools and state schools in a similar fashion. We focus on anti-bullying and tailor our approach with each individual school. We have worked with many schools with a high Muslim population and also partner with C of E and Catholic schools with great results.

 How many schools are you going into?

We have worked with 79 schools in our first three years. We have received requests from many more schools around the country.

Ambassador schools programme

Our Ambassador Schools Programme is a network of schools that champion equality and work meaningfully to eradicate all forms of discrimination. Our Ambassador Schools are ones that we have identified as being champions of LGBT equality by embedding our programme in the curriculum and promoting LGBT rights and visibility within the wider school.

DRM ambassador schools:

  • Promote DRM’s work to other schools in the borough
  • Take part in exciting events, conferences and competitions hosted by or involving DRM
  • Are the first port of call for DRM pilot projects in schools
  • Provide quotes and testimonials
  • Conduct attitudinal surveys and/or other types of evaluations with relevant groups
  • Participate in and/or initiate fundraising drives

DRM will:

  • Give first priority to Ambassador Schools for competitions, events and campaigns
  • Publicise work done by Ambassador Schools
  • Offer media opportunities to Ambassador Schools before other partner schools
  • Showcase their equality work to stakeholders (OFSTED, political contacts, corporate partners)
  • Support schools with policy and training
  • Keep schools updated with our news

For more information about becoming an Ambassador School, please email Navah Bekhor, Head of Education, navah@diversityrolemodels.org.

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