https://equalities.blog.gov.uk/2017/11/17/guest-post-how-lgbt-consortium-is-tackling-homophobic-biphobic-and-transphobic-bullying/

Guest post: How LGBT Consortium is tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying

LGBT Consortium is a national membership organisation focusing on the development and support of LGBT groups, projects and organisations; so they can deliver direct services and campaign for individual rights.

Funded by the Government Equalities Office, LGBT Consortium are leading a partnership of 12 member organisations to deliver an innovative project tackling HBT bullying. The ‘National Anti-Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying Alliance’ works with schools across England, in conjunction with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people, to help school staff and teachers understand how to prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying and provide more supportive school environments so every young LGBT person can feel safe whilst undertaking their education.

Our Alliance has a range of diverse LGBT organisations, with valuable local expertise and years of experience of working with LGBT communities: 2BU Somerset, ELOP, Free2b Alliance, Mermaids, MESMAC, Metro, Mosaic, NE Federation, Proud2be, Space Youth, YAY Cornwall, and Schools OUT.

Our nationally driven, locally delivered project is divided into two types of support to schools. The first model helps schools who already have good practice in place, by giving them expert training and curriculum support. The other model is a more thorough schedule of work, offering schools the opportunity to access consultation on their existing and new policies, procedures and communications, making sure the school environment is as LGBT-inclusive as possible. We have already begun work with 43 schools across England.

Alongside this face-to-face activity, schools in our programme are also offered support through our ‘Advice for Advisor’ helpline, enabling staff to contact any LGBT Consortium member organisation for specific queries – like getting tips on how to ensure that respect for faith and sexual orientation are taught alongside one another in PSHE lessons. To make sure that we have a lasting impact, we are also putting together LGBT-inclusive lesson plans and reference resources for school staff to embed in their everyday teaching.

We've been encourage by the feedback we've received so far about the programme from schools we are working with. We’ve also experienced several instances where teachers and students have felt comfortable enough to ‘come out’ as LGBT as a direct result of seeing their colleagues and fellow students respond positively to our programme. We are proud to be engendering such positive change in our education system!

For more information on who your local Alliance provider is and how you can get your local school involved in this project, please email our Project Coordinator, Jess MacIntyre.