Just Like Us launches LGBT+ resources for faith schools

by Just Like Us
February 2023

A teacher wearing a hijab stands in front of a class of children during School Diversity Week

Just Like Us has launched a new series of LGBT+ resources designed for faith schools after a third of teachers (30%) have reported faith has been a ‘barrier’ to discussing LGBT+ topics in school.

In faith schools, these numbers increased further, with 46% of teachers feeling that faith was a barrier to talking about LGBT+ topics, compared to 25% at non-faith schools. 

Just Like Us’ research was carried out independently by Teacher Tapp, surveying 7,407 primary and secondary school teachers across the UK in February 2023.

Primary school teachers are more likely to agree that the ‘religion(s) of your school community’ is a barrier to discussing LGBT+ topics, with 36% agreeing it was always or sometimes a barrier, compared to just 24% of secondary teachers. 

A school staff member helps a child with their work during School Diversity Week

Almost half (48%) of teachers at primary faith schools said faith was a barrier, compared to a third (30%) of those at non-faith primary schools. Similarly, 43% of teachers at faith secondary schools said religion was a barrier to talking about LGBT+ topics, compared to 20% at non-faith secondary schools. 

The results also found that the more experienced a teacher is, the less likely they are to see faith as a barrier to LGBT+ inclusion in schools. Just 3% of headteachers said that faith has always been a barrier to discussing LGBT+ topics.

Download LGBT+ faith resources

The charity has launched a new series of LGBT+ and faith inclusive resources for Catholic, Anglican, Muslim and Jewish schools.

Download the resources for free by signing up for School Diversity Week.

The resources include assemblies and video resources for primary and secondary faith schools, and have been developed in collaboration with LGBT+ faith organisations Keshet, One Body One Faith, Hidayah and Quest.

School Diversity Week 2023 will take place from 26-30 June.

Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity, said: “Our research shows that a third of teachers feel that faith can be a barrier to LGBT+ inclusion, but this is most likely because there have never been enough LGBT+ and faith specific school resources needed to even broach this topic. We’ve launched this new series of resources to change that.

LGBT+ young people talk about their faiths in the new Just Like Us resources
LGBT+ young people talk about their faiths in the new Just Like Us resources

“When it comes to a lack of LGBT+ inclusion in schools, it is so rarely about willingness but actually about whether teachers have access to the right resources that suit their school that enable them to get started.

“We work with so many faith schools who are really fantastic at LGBT+ inclusion, such as St Stephen’s CofE Primary School which won an award for their School Diversity Week celebrations, and know many more are keen to show their support.”

“We know faith is really important to so many LGBT+ people, and regardless of who you are, it’s vital that we all learn about the diversity of the world around us and how to celebrate each other’s differences.

Just Like Us is always here to help faith schools

– Amy Ashenden, Interim Chief Executive of Just Like Us

“We hope these LGBT+ inclusive faith resources will be a real game changer in finally helping teachers with exactly what they need to comfortably address these topics with their pupils. Using these resources and taking part in School Diversity Week will show that all young people can feel safe, happy and welcome in their school in a way that celebrates their school’s faith ethos at the same time.

“We know from our previous research that LGBT+ inclusive education benefits the wellbeing of all young people, whether or not they are LGBT+.

“Just Like Us is always here to help faith schools, no matter where they’re at on their journey with LGBT+ inclusion, who might need support with this.”

Why celebrate School Diversity Week?

Independent research has found a link between positive messaging about being LGBT+ in schools to pupils have better mental health. This is regardless of whether the pupils are LGBT+ or not.

By signing up for School Diversity Week, you’ll gain access to our free LGBT+ inclusive resources, including. You’ll be joining thousands of other schools celebrating across the UK.