Date Published: 23 February 2009

'Out In School' help to embrace diversity in education

HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), has launched a new resource pack today for secondary school teachers. Out in School is a free guide and provides teachers and other school staff with ideas they can use to help discuss topics like same sex relationships and homophobia with their students.

Research shows that young people who experience homophobia are less likely to do well at school. They are also more likely to truant and leave school at 16. An increasing number of schools are encouraging open discussion about sexual orientation to ensure that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) students are as confident and successful as their heterosexual peers. THT’s Out in School is designed to make it easier for teachers to introduce this topic within school lessons and assemblies.

The guide is full of ideas on how to incorporate discussion within a wider context of relationships, marriage, diversity, religion, language and literature. Out in School also looks at how teachers can highlight the importance of challenging prejudice and being respectful to others.

Phillip Wragg, Young Gay Men’s Development Officer for THT said:

Homophobic bullying can be a big issue in schools. Ask your class how often they hear words like ‘gay’ used as an insult or put-down. Teachers tell us that it can be a challenge to discuss same sex relationships and homophobia in lessons. That’s why we’ve launched this guide to help teachers create more opportunities for discussion in class about the damaging effects of homophobia and homophobic bullying.”

All the lesson plans in the guide are written by practising teachers and have been used successfully in a range of classes from geography to foreign language lessons. Crucially, all the ideas suggested link to the Key Stage 4 curriculum.

Source: Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)

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