Press release: Diversity Role Models appeals to schools to use new funding to tackle bullying of LGBT pupils

Friday February 1, 2019

Diversity Role Models has responded to today’s announcement of its £131,231.25 grant from the Government’s Anti-Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying Fund by inviting primary and secondary schools in the West Midlands, Greater London and the South East to get in touch.

“This is a vital opportunity for all those schools that are worried about bullying and inclusion, but haven’t been able to find the budget to get the specialist support they need,” says Diversity Role Models chief executive, Adam McCann. “Bullying is rife online, in the playground, in the changing room. The mutual respect that most adults take for granted is lacking among many pupil populations.”

“These are very sensitive issues for young people and their parents. Specialist training is needed to provide teaching staff and senior leadership in schools with the knowledge and confidence to respond to LGBT+ diversity and create safe spaces where every pupil will feel accepted and supported.”

Diversity Role Models is one of six organisations awarded funding until 31 March 2020 by the Government Equalities Office from the £1 million Anti-Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying Fund – a key step in implementation of the Government’s LGBT Action Plan. Diversity Role Models will use its funding to offer a ‘Pathways to LGBT+ Inclusion’ programme to 100 schools, helping them embed LGBT+ inclusion into their school’s policies, practices, curriculum and culture.

Since it started tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools in November 2011, Diversity Role Models has worked with 367+ schools and directly educated 94,000+ pupils. It has also trained teachers and governors to build long-term capacity in schools. Diversity Role Models’ approach of using real people – role models – to tell their personal stories and answer pupils’ questions has been successful in transforming attitudes in classrooms.

Schools wanting to take part in the programme can register their interest and find out more by emailing info@diversityrolemodels.org with the subject ‘Pathways to LGBT+ Inclusion’.

ENDS

For more press information, please contact

  • Phil Kennedy, FTI Consulting: 020 3727 1286, 07703 330 884 or phil.kennedy@fticonsulting.com
  • Adam McCann, Chief Executive Officer, Diversity Role Models: 07593 655885 or adam@diversityrolemodels.org

Notes to the editors

  • Anti-Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying Fund: as part of the LGBT Implementation Fund announced in the Government’s LGBT Action Plan, £1 million is available to fund projects across primary and secondary schools in England to achieve 3 core aims:
    • create an inclusive school environment for LGBT pupils and families where there is a high tolerance and safety for all members of the community, and where staff and pupils feel safe being open about their sexual orientation and gender identity.
    • prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
    • work with schools to increase understanding about being LGBT and to help schools to create and embed positive changes around inclusivity for LGBT people within the school environment for the long-term.
  • Diversity Role Models (DRM) is a registered charity that was established in 2011 to eliminate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying in UK schools, preventing bullying before it happens by educating young people about difference, challenging stereotypes and addressing the misuse of language. DRM aim is that all children and young people should be able to learn safely at school without fear of bullying.

    Sexuality and gender-based bullying occurs on a daily basis for many young people in schools. The repercussions on mental health and emotional wellbeing can be severe and long lasting. Attendance and attainment inevitably suffers.

    DRM’s approach is based on storytelling. DRM believes that honest, two-way communication with young people in a safe space about an oft-misunderstood topic develops empathy. Role models talk in an age appropriate way about such matters as love, happy relationships, coming out, the value of good friends and expressions of gender. They are supported by a trained facilitator and the role models will represent the spectrum of diversity of sexual orientation and gender identities, as well as diversity of ethnicity, disability and age.

    DRM inspires young people to have integrity, to think critically about their own stereotyping and views and to consider how they might have a positive influence on their peers and the culture around them. Having an opportunity to ask questions and connect to someone very different from themselves is part of the education process. It breaks down prejudice as well as sending a positive message to LGBT+ students.

 

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