Why Pride Groups are needed more than ever for schools and colleges

There’s often a perception that being LGBT+ today is far easier than it used to be. While in some ways that’s true – we have same-sex marriage now, after all – many of the changes needed to improve the lives of LGBT+ young people haven’t yet happened.

Growing up LGBT+ is still unacceptably tough. At Just Like Us, we want to change that by helping educators and school staff to make education more inclusive. School should be a happy, welcoming place for all young people.

As the UK faces more lockdowns and tougher restrictions, LGBT+ students are more likely to feel isolated, spending more time at home with relatives that may not be accepting. They need safe, welcoming spaces more than ever.

Research by University College London and Sussex University, while in small numbers, found that young LGBT+ people in particular have particularly suffered during lockdown. Almost 10 per cent of survey respondents reported they felt unsafe in their home and the highest levels of depression were reported by young trans and non-binary people.

We also know that, particularly during lockdown, school staff are under immense pressure. Despite the challenges, we hear from schools and colleges time and time again that their students’ wellbeing remains a top priority.

That's why this year we're bringing Pride Groups online to ensure LGBT+ young people can access support at distance.

The Pride Groups programme is packed with ready-to-go resources, toolkits and online training sessions for educators to support LGBT+ students.

Pride Groups create a safe space where students can find community and make their school environment more inclusive.

Pride Groups are student-led and can happen online. They provide safe places LGBT+ students and allies to socialise, find support, and talk about LGBT+ topics.

With help from Just Like Us, Pride Groups create a safe space where students can find community and make their school environment more inclusive. We’ve updated our programme to ensure Pride Groups can be set up smoothly online.

We provide support from a Programme Officer, alongside the termly, tailored online training sessions and topical, year-round resources. As always, we’re here to help educators however we can and no question is too small – visit our Pride Groups page to get started.

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