What is Out in Education?
Out in Education is a not-for-profit that delivers workshops, lessons and assemblies about homophobia and what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender to primary and secondary schools across the UK. We have three aims: to tackle homophobia/transphobia at primary and secondary schools, to support young LGBT+ people coming to terms with their sexuality and also to train teachers on how to organically bring LGBT+ issues into the classroom.
We deliver workshops to pupils from KS1 to KS5 concerning a range of topics including: stereotypes, cyber-bullying, different families, healthy relationships and sexual health. We also help schools create effective pupil-led anti-bullying policies. We have worked with local education authorities and been into over 50 schools in the UK. The positive impact that Out in Education has on pupils at schools we go into can be seen through Ofsted reports, schools that have displayed pupils’ anti-bullying policies at their school and our continued visits to schools in the area.
Who we are
All of our volunteers are LGBT+ university students who have recently come through the education system and thus can relate to homophobic bullying and coming out at school. Our volunteers study a diverse range of subjects (physics, counselling, nutrition, economics, sociology…) and are all keen to share their own stories and experiences in a positive light. Our aim in every session is to be the person who we needed when we were younger, providing a voice of acceptance and validation for every pupil. We were founded at The University of Nottingham by Lucy Wake in 2013, and are sustained by new waves of enthusiastic student volunteers carrying on our legacy each year in our Nottingham and Loughborough branches.
Why we do it
This quote from Stonewall’s ‘The Teacher Report’ (2014) emphasises the need for positive LGBT+ education in schools:
“Nine in ten teachers in secondary schools and seven in ten teachers in primary schools hear pupils use expressions like ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’. More than half of primary school teachers have not addressed different families in the
classroom, and a third of secondary school teachers say they have not addressed issues of sexual orientation.”
We firmly believe that acceptance starts with better education – by destigmatising words like ‘gay’ in the classroom, we are able to organically bring LGBT+ concepts into the classroom and get the conversation about different identities in motion. We have seen from our visits that this benefits not only LGBT+ pupils, but every single pupil in the classroom.
At the end of the day, a lot of our volunteers felt like they couldn’t be themselves as they went through the education system, since the curriculum does not make LGBT+ education compulsory. We don’t want any more pupils to suffer in silence, and so we are there to provide a voice for them and for their peers.
“[Students] have worked with [Out in Education] to run workshops for the entire student body. Consequently, those students who spoke to inspectors were very well-informed about what constituted homophobic bullying and understood it to be unacceptable.”
– The Dukeries Academy Ofsted Report, 2014.
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Lucy Wake and the Out In Education team. Lucy’s enthusiasm is infectious and her commitment inspiring. She was a real hit at our conferences this year and I think delegates learned a lot from what she shared. She is also entirely reliable and personifies the meaning of the words “positive collaboration”. I would wholeheartedly recommend Lucy and the project to anyone considering working with them or funding them. The work is so desperately needed.”
– Sarah Lee, Achievement and Equality Manager, Nottingham County Council.
Katrin Dallimore, Project Leader
Katrin is a second year Economics student at the University of Nottingham and oversees Out in Education’s finances. In volunteering with Out in Education, she hopes she can provide a discussion of what it is to be LGBT that was sorely missing from her time at school, and plant the seed for an environment where young people can embrace their gender and sexual identities without fear of being bullied.
Kate Bedford, Outreach & Liaison Officer
Kate is a fourth year Genetics student at The University of Nottingham and she started volunteering with OiE in 2016. As Outreach and Liaison Officer, she hopes to help the organisation reach as many young people as possible. Until the curriculum includes education on LGBT+ issues, the work that OiE does is crucial in helping future generations become more accepting of their own identities and the identities of others and as a committee member, she hopes to help achieve this.
Erin Hampson – OiE Rep
Erin is returning from Erasmus in Budapest for their final year of Bachelor’s at NTU, studying Psychology with Sociology. They are a new Out in Education representative on the committee and are proud to be in this role. They consider it crucially important to get LGBTQ+ issues and representation into schools in order to create a more accepting and safe environment for LGBTQ+ students, which will in turn have an impact on wider society. They are committed to the cause and find it a mission in their life to challenge the damaging heteronormative culture that’s so salient in society today.
Mo Obat – OiE Rep
Mo studies third year nutrition. She has previously volunteered for OiE and found it very rewarding as she believes a lot of the issues around LGBT+ phobia come from a lack of education and understanding. She looks forward to getting out there and do something positive in society, however little it may be.
Ibtisam Ahmed – OiE Rep
Ibi has been a regular volunteer with OiE and decided to take on a committee role in the final year of his PhD in Political Utopianism. A much valued LGBT+ campaigner within the local community, he is committed to the success of this project in educating future generations.
Andrew Coe (Project Leader 2016-17, Social Media Officer 2015)
Bryony Harper (Co-Project Leader 2015-17)
Kelly Waldorf (Outreach & Liaison 2016-17)
Michele Lucherini (Outreach & Liaison 2016-17)
Poppy Tait (Outreach & Liaison 2016-17)
Chris Smith (Social Media Officer 2016-17)
Jack Doughty (OiE Rep 2016-17, Social Media Officer 2014-15)
Ben Dolton (OiE Rep 2016-17)
Elisha Gilbertson (OiE Rep 2016-17)
Alice Gould (OiE Rep 2015-16)
Kit Shepherd (Fundraising Officer 2016)
Anam Sh (Outreach & Liaison 2015-16)
Lucy Wake (Founder)