Children and teenagers across the Midlands are being taught about lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans (LGBT) issues by a new group tackling homophobia in classrooms.
Out in Education is a student-led not-for-profit originating at The University of Nottingham, which delivers workshops, lessons and assemblies about what it means to be LGBT at primary and secondary schools. By discussing stereotypes, cyber-bullying, and relationships, the project aims to educate and combat homophobia at a young age.
Out in Education is the brainchild of Lucy Wake, who set up the not-for-profit organisation in 2013, while still a student at The University in Nottingham.
Lucy said: ‘We have had many victories so far as an organisation: we have received emails from teachers saying that pupils have become empowered enough to create a LGBT Network of their own, some have come out, others are just more tolerant. I’ve also heard from teachers who are now comfortable to come out in their school environment without fear, or even just tackle the endemic bullying. We have been specifically mentioned in Ofsted reports, and are looking forward to expanding further this year.’
Out in Education received Cascade funding, a grants programme supported by donations from The University of Nottingham’s alumni and friends. The project is fast expanding beyond Nottingham. They now have a base at Nottingham Trent University, with another at Loughborough University to be opened this month. The project operates by setting up bases at Students’ Unions across the UK to create a network of students each going out into their own communities, with the aim of 20 bases by the end of 2015.
Sarah Lee, Achievement and Equality Manager, Nottinghamshire County Council, said: ‘It was an absolute pleasure working with Lucy Wake and the Out in Education team. Lucy's enthusiasm is infectious and her commitment inspiring. She was a real hit at our conferences this year and I think delegates learned a lot from what she shared. The work is so desperately needed.’
For more information about Out in Education, visit their website. You can also find updates on Facebook and Twitter.
The University of Nottingham is celebrating LGBT History Month with events and blog posts across February, featuring contributions from Out in Education and more. Visit the University’s LGBT History Month blog for details.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.
The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC) is holding events throughout 2015 to celebrate 15 years as a pioneer of transnational education. Based in Semenyih, UMNC was established as the UK's first overseas campus in Malaysia and one of the first world-wide.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…