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Phil Nicol

DRM and Brook team up to deliver anti-bullying project for the GEO

Tuesday March 24, 2015

24 March 2015


Two leading charities working with young people have formed a consortium to deliver training to staff in schools across England to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, funded by a grant from the Government Equalities Office (“GEO”).

The grant is part of a fund announced by Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, and Women and Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson, in late October 2014. Diversity Role Models (“DRM”) is leading a consortium in partnership with Brook to deliver a pioneering programme of training for teachers and other school staff. The programme will consist of a core e-learning package, to reach at least 10,000 staff in 400 primary and secondary schools across England, together with more in-depth specialist training for over 1,000 staff who can then act as experts to build their colleagues’ confidence in tackling this form of bullying across schools. In addition, DRM will develop an online ‘Knowledge Exchange’ with lesson and assembly plans, resources for engaging with and informing parents, and a peer-to-peer support forum for teachers to share best practice in dealing with bullying.

This project is one of a total of eight being funded by the GEO for one year from 1 April 2015. The DRM-Brook consortium will initially be targeting schools using its networks in ten geographic centres across five regions in England – in East of England (Bedfordshire), London, the North West (Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Liverpool, Wigan and the Wirral), the South West (Bristol, Cornwall), and the West Midlands – and schools from outside these areas will also be able to sign up to the core e-learning package.

Women and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson, said: “It’s good news that schools are making progress on homophobic bullying, but it must be eradicated entirely. The trauma of being bullied at school can stay with you for life, and it is absolutely unacceptable that those who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are being targeted. Teachers need specialist support and training to help them stamp out homophobic bullying, which is why we have funded these excellent projects which are designed to tackle this issue head on.”

Suran Dickson, Chief Executive of Diversity Role Models, said: “This is a hugely exciting project for Diversity Role Models, working in partnership with Brook. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying affects all young people in UK schools, not just those who self-identify as LGBT. By giving staff in schools the confidence to deal with this pernicious form of bullying, we will make schools safer and better places to learn.”

Jules Hillier, Deputy Chief Executive of Brook, added: “All children and young people have a right to be safe at school, whatever their sexuality or gender. Brook and Diversity Role Models’ training will empower teachers to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying within their schools, helping to safeguard the wellbeing of young LGBT pupils. I’m delighted that Brook is working with DRM on such an important and greatly needed project.”

For further information, please contact:

Diversity Role Models: Phil Nicol, Head of Business Development; tel: 07958 174 484;

Brook: Press office; tel: 020 7284 6046;

Notes to Editors:

Research shows that LGBT students are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Seven out of ten lesbian and gay young people say homophobic bullying affects their schoolwork and many skip school because of it. Some 6% of these young people have been subjected to death threats, while 52% have heard homophobic comments from teachers and school staff. Research also shows that some schools lack confidence in dealing with this form of bullying, and that a ‘whole-school’ approach linked with interactive teaching methods is the best way to prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

The mission of Diversity Role Models (DRM) (registered charity number: 1142548) is to eliminate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. DRM achieves this by providing teacher training and educational workshops involving role models, and by collaborating with individuals and organisations.

Since formally launching in the House of Commons in November 2011, DRM has become one of the UK’s most important anti-bullying charities. In addition to its existing teacher training programme, DRM has delivered over 930 pro-diversity workshops to over 21,000 pupils using 220 trained volunteer role models, communicating directly with students of all ages, using positive role models to counter negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Of these pupils, 94% indicated that they would treat a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) person better after the workshop, while 91% indicated that they would use the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term less in the future.

Brook (Registered charity number: 703015) helps young people to make informed, active choices about their personal and sexual relationships so they can enjoy their sexuality without harm. Brook is the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25. The charity has 50 years of experience working with young people and currently has services in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey. Brook also provides support services and programmes to help young people make positive and healthy lifestyle choices and to improve their personal and emotional wellbeing.

To find out about Brook’s education programmes, professional training courses and wide range of engaging and informative publications and resources for young people and professionals working with young people – visit

Brook services provide free and confidential sexual health information, contraception, pregnancy testing, advice and counselling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and education programmes, reaching over 275,000 young people every year.

For more information about the Government Equalities Office's fund to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, please visit

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