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SecondaryHealth & Wellbeing

Just Like Us: “We can make school a safe space for all”

Just Like Us
www.justlikeus.org

Laura Mackay outlines the comprehensive support schools can provide for their LGBT+ students with the help of Just Like Us’ Pride Groups Programme

Our Expert
Laura Mackay

Laura Mackay

Chief executive, Just Like Us

  • Area of expertise – LGBT+ inclusion in schools.
  • Best part of my job – Hearing from schools about the positive impact of Just Like Us’ programmes.

What is Just Like Us’ Pride Groups Programme?

Our Pride Groups Programme is a national network of student-led, lunchtime or after school clubs in secondary schools, where LGBT+ and ally pupils can meet, learn and get support.

We help schools to get set up if they’ve never run a LGBT+ club before, but also provide valuable support to schools which already have a club with our resources, one-to-one guidance, training and community of school staff championing LGBT+ inclusion.

Why are LGBT+ school clubs so important for pupils?

Our research shows that even in 2023, LGBT+ pupils are twice as likely as their non-LGBT+ peers to experience bullying, so the importance of safe spaces cannot be overstated.

In fact, 94% of school staff champions agreed that being part of a Pride Group had improved pupils’ wellbeing – a key factor in regular school attendance. Additionally, Ofsted wants schools to show they are inclusive. By supporting student mental health, we can make school a safe space for all.

“94% of school staff champions agreed that being part of a Pride Group had improved pupils’ wellbeing.”

What do teachers get out of the Pride Groups Programme?

Our Pride Groups programme is designed to be delivered by pupils, for pupils. We provide training each term for both staff champions and student leaders, and our Pride Groups receive brand new resources every two weeks.

As a former teacher, I know that there is never enough time in the day, so it is vital that our resources are ready-to-go and easy for student leaders to use.

How do Pride Groups benefit the wider school community?

Pride Groups are a brilliant way for LGBT+ and ally pupils to learn from each other, but they also allow pupils to feel empowered to make positive change in their school community.

Pupils in Pride Groups can contribute to a culture of LGBT+ inclusion throughout the school using Just Like Us’ resources – for example, by creating displays and assemblies, helping to look at school policies, or even being involved in training for staff.

“Pupils in Pride Groups can contribute to a culture of LGBT+ inclusion throughout the school.”

What kind of resources does Just Like Us provide to Pride Groups?

Our Pride Groups programme has a different theme each term, encouraging an intersectional approach to inclusion, with easy-to-use resources and training centred on those themes.

Examples of previous termly themes include ‘Disability Pride’ and ‘Black LGBT+ Joy’. The resources range from full lesson plans to shorter creative activities, keeping Pride Groups flexible, exciting and engaging for young people.

All this for the price of just £99 + VAT for a year.

For more information, email info@justlikeus.org or visit justlikeus.org.

Ask me about…
  • COMMUNITY: The Pride Groups programme connects hundreds of school staff running LGBT+ groups across the UK
  • COMPETITIONS: Just Like Us’ Pride Groups have the chance to win competitions and even national awards
  • SUPPORT: Just Like Us helps staff champions every step of the way – from toolkits and how-to guides, to tailored one-to-one support
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Just Like Us

justlikeus.org
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