Children have an increasing awareness of and interest in gender and sexuality and schools play a vital role in providing information and support to children who may be exploring their identity. But research commissioned by the charity Stonewall found that more than half of young people don’t feel that there is an adult they can talk to at school about these issues.
The research also found that:
- Two thirds of LGBT+ young people (66 per cent) say their school doesn’t offer help to access resources that can support them.
- One in three trans young people (33 per cent) are not able to be known by their preferred name at school, while three in five (58 per cent) are not allowed to use the toilets they feel comfortable in.
- Nearly half of LGBT+ young people (45 per cent) – including 64 per cent of trans young people – are bullied for being LGBT at school or college.
- More than two in five LGBT learners in sixth form colleges (44 per cent) ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ hear homophobic language.
While simply being LGBTQIA+ doesn’t cause mental health issues, dealing with stigma, bullying and abuse makes it more likely that LGBTQIA+ children and young people will experience difficulties with their mental health. This is why we’re focusing on gender and sexuality in two forthcoming CPD events – one focused on adults working with primary-aged children and one focused on those working with secondary-aged children and young people. Ahead of these, we spoke to education consultant and former headteacher Ian Timbrell, who will be delivering the sessions, for Thrive’s Connected podcast.
Ian explains what delegates will gain from taking part in the CPD sessions, with an emphasis on gaining practical skills so that educators feel equipped to have sensitive conversations with confidence.
Have a listen to the podcast to discover:
- Why the + is the most important part of LGBTQIA+
- How you can avoid tokenism in schools and create a genuine culture of inclusion and diversity
- Why educators shouldn’t shy away from conversations about gender, sexuality and identity and how allowing children and young people to be open will benefit their mental health
- The one question classroom staff should ask if a child initiates a conversation around geneder and identity
- Why LGBTQIA+ is not a safeguarding issue
Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and have a listen to find out how you can improve things in your school.
To attend either of Ian’s CPD sessions, click here to book a place at LGBTQIA+: what secondary school educators need to know and here to book a place at LGBTQIA+: what primary school educators need to know