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<SCHOOL NAME> JOIN NEARLY A MILLION PUPILS CELEBRATING SCHOOL DIVERSITY WEEK 2020

Pupils from <SCHOOL NAME> will be joining over 1.6 million pupils and school staff across the country in celebrating School Diversity Week 2020 (22-26 June), the national celebration of lesbian, gay bisexual and trans (LGBT+) equality in education, organised by the charity Just Like Us (justlikeus.org).

Section 28, which made it difficult for schools to address LGBT+ issues in a positive way, was repealed in 2003. But unfortunately, growing up remains unacceptably tough for LGBT+ young people: 40% contemplate suicide, 52% have self-harmed and 86% still hear homophobic remarks. That’s why <SCHOOL NAME> pupils and school staff are getting creative to make school a place where every young person can be themselves and thrive.

Explaining the importance of School Diversity Week, Headteacher, <HEADTEACHER NAME>, said
“<QUOTATION 1>”.

As part of the week, pupils and school staff will be <ANY EVENTS BEING HELD>. Describing why <he/she/they> are involved in the week, <PUPIL NAME> in <YEAR X>, said “<QUOTATION 2>”.

Last year, 1.4 million pupils and school staff organised events during School Diversity Week 2019 ranging from cake sales to drama and musical performances. School Diversity Week 2020 is expected to involve at least 1.6 million young people across the UK.

This year Just Like Us will be running School Diversity Week: Home Edition in response to COVID-19. Firstly, materials will be adapted so teachers can use them with their students remotely. Secondly, there will be daily online masterclasses for young people to take part in directly on a range of LGBT+ topics.

Launching last year’s week, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, praised the importance of School Diversity Week, saying: “Having visible role models who have been there before and know how it feels can help give a young person the confidence to embrace who they are. And they can encourage everyone in the school to be positive and accepting... The truth is that we all do better and our whole country is enriched when we are free to be ourselves

Schools interested in taking part in School Diversity Week can visit www.justlikeus.org/sdw to find out more information.
 

Notes to editors
1. School Diversity Week is a voluntary initiative running 22-26 June 2020 across the UK. 1.4 million pupils celebrated the event in 2019 which was supported by all major political parties, the Department for Education and the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Education. The week helps schools meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and Ofsted’s Inspectorate Framework to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

2. During School Diversity Week, Just Like Us provides schools with a plug and play resource pack to help teachers empower pupils to organise events. In 2019, events included: non-uniform days, debates, workshops, Pride Festivals, concerts and cake sales. This year, in light of COVID-19, Just Like Us has also provided resources adapted for home learning and a focus on providing virtual masterclasses for young people to engage with remotely.

3. Stonewall’s School Report 2017 found that 9 in 10 secondary school pupils still ‘regularly’ hear the word ‘gay’ being used in a negative sense. The Government Equalities Office’s 2018 National LGBT+ Survey found that “only 3% of respondents said they had discussed sexual orientation and gender identity at school”, and where it was discussed, “only 9% said that the discussions had prepared them well for later life”. Over two-thirds of primary and secondary teachers in a recent survey by a teaching union said they had no training on LGBT+ issues within the past five years - that’s a pupil’s entire time at secondary school. 

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/school-report-2017 Stonewall’s School Report 2017
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-lgbt-survey-summary-report/national-lgbt-survey-summary-report National LGBT+ Survey: summary report

4. Just Like Us is a registered charity, number 1665194, with more information available at
www.justlikeus.org

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