Stonewall's Education Champions programme provides bespoke support and guidance to local authorities in tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in their local schools.
Our Education Champions programme has been developed following the huge success of Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme, Britain's good practice forum in which employers can work with Stonewall to improve the workplace experience of their LGB staff and realise the business benefits as a result. The programme, launched in 2001, now has over 600 members.
As part of the Education Champions programme, local authorities work with us and each other to establish ways in which they can address homophobic bullying and promote a safe and inclusive learning environment for all young people. For a list of members click here
Key benefits of being an Education Champion
- Exclusive action plan and benchmarking exercise
- Free and exclusive good practice seminars and events
- Stonewall representation at two local events or meetings a year
- Priority and discount booking at Stonewall's Education For All conference
- Use of the Stonewall Education Champions logo to publicly demonstrate commitment to tackling homophobic bullying
- Named Stonewall point of contact for support and guidance
- Access to best practice from local authorities across Britain
- Networking opportunities with other local authorities
- Regular e-bulletin providing information and updates on the work being done by Education Champions
Why join the Education Champion programme?
- Homophobic bullying is endemic in Britain's schools. Stonewall's 2007 research, The School Report, demonstrated that almost two thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils in secondary schools have experienced homophobic bullying. Furthermore homophobic bullying doesn't only affect lesbian, gay and bisexual young people; any young person perceived as 'different' or gay or who has gay friends and family may also experience homophobic bullying.
- Tackling homophobic bullying in schools doesn't have to be difficult. Schools which take a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic bullying and ensure that staff have the confidence and support they need to tackle it, provide safe and positive learning environments for all children and young people. In schools that say homophobic bullying is wrong, gay young people are 60 per cent more likely not to have been bullied. Addressing homophobic bullying is easier with support. Our Education Champions Programme helps local authorities provide this support to schools.
- Local authorities have an important role to play in addressing homophobia and homophobic bullying. They provide a guiding role for their schools, bring their local schools together to share good practice and take the lead in disseminating information to assist their schools in addressing homophobic bullying. The Education Champions framework for action will help local authorities to reflect on their existing good practice and build on their work to tackle these issues in their schools.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are on a tight budget and have to justify every cost. Why should we join?
Being a member of Stonewall’s Education Champions programme is a cost-effective way for you to demonstrate your commitment to tackling homophobic bullying in your local schools. The benefits outlined above give you the support and expertise to enable you to create measurable outcomes and to measure their success.
What impact will the Equality Act 2010 have on our anti-bullying work?
The Equality Act will require that every public body (including local authorities, schools and academies) has a duty to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. This will mean that these bodies will be expected to be actively tackling issues related to sexual orientation such as
homophobic bullying and protecting those who may be subjected to it. Being part of the programme will help you to comply with the Act.
Will joining the programme create extra work for us?
The programme is designed to fit in amongst the anti-bullying work you are already doing. Research shows that whilst local authorities and schools have made efforts to tackle other types of bullying such as racist bullying, many are unsure of how to address homophobic bullying. The programme provides tailored support and guidance in tackling homophobic bullying and provides the necessary tools to do so.
Membership of the Education Champions programme is £1500 per year, and is based on an initial joining period of two years. If your local authority is already a Stonewall Diversity Champion, membership is at a reduced rate of £1250 per year.
If you would like more information on Stonewall's Education Champions programme please contact:
Youth and Education Officer
Tel: 02920 237744