The Trust has teamed up with Barnsley LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Forum and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to sign up to the Stonewall Education Champions programme.
The programme provides tailored support and guidance to local authorities in tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in their local schools – encouraging them to celebrate difference and diversity in society. By singing up to the programme, it is hoped that it will help Barnsley to become a champion in educational excellence and equality and diversity.
Matthew Osborne, health improvement practitioner at the Trust, will be delivering sessions to schools, along with colleagues from the LGBT Forum and local authority, to encourage them to challenge the issue of homophobic bullying in their environment. Matthew explained, “Homophobic bullying is a big problem in schools across England – nine in ten secondary and two in five primary school teachers say that young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, experience homophobic bullying, name calling or harassment.
“It’s important that we support schools to tackle the issue, as it can play a big role in the health and emotional wellbeing of students. The partnership between the Trust, Barnsley Council and Barnsley LGBT forum shows that we’re committed to acting as champions for educational excellence in this area.
“The work compliments and supports the broader remit of the healthy settings service in taking a whole school approach to health improvement. It important that the work is seen as an essential part of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education programme as it supports the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes of children and young people.”
As part of the programme, schools will also have free access to Stonewall’s educational resources and will be offered support from the Trust and our partners to establish ways in which they can address homophobic bullying and promote a safe and inclusive learning environment for all young people.