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, biphobia and 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 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.
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.
Project Leader: Dimosthenis Kaldis
Dimosthenis hopes to use his position to continue establishing excellent relationships with the institutions Out in Education collaborates with. As a general volunteer, he wishes to help LGBTQ+ youth accept and love themselves for who they are, and fight against the stigma and discrimination many face on an everyday basis.
Treasurer: Angelina Lau
Angelina is a Law student. As the Treasurer of Out in Education, she hopes she will be able to work closely with all the other committee members in order to ensure that funding is readily available. She looks forward to contributing to Out in Education and providing a safer and happier platform for the future generation.
Outreach & Liaison Officer: Izzy Mann
Izzy is a third year History and Politics student who is new to Out in Education and very excited to be taking on the role. By being part of the committee they hope they can take an active role in ensuring that the first impression schools and organisations have with us is a positive one. They are very passionate about social change and believe Out In Education supports this thoroughly by filling a missing gap in the curriculum. It is so important that LGBTQ+ representation is not an afterthought for schools and by being on the committee they hope to help in facilitating an environment where all young people of any gender or sexuality are not afraid to be themselves.
Outreach & Liaison Officer: Kara Crilly-Jones
Kara is a second year Law and Languages student. As an Outreach and Liaison Officer she wishes to be active not only in the support of LGBT+ students, but to open up understanding, compassion and tolerance for all, so that it is acknowledged just how diverse and yet how similar we are as human beings. This requires open and active discussions as well as working together with schools, teachers and students to educate children and adults alike on matters of self-identity and social acceptance. Together with Out in Education Kara wants to play her part in making the world a better place.
Fundraising Officer: Chris Hyland
Chris is a first year Economics student, who joined Out in Education as a Fundraising Officer in 2018. He is very conscious of the impact an organisation like ours would have had on his own school experience, and so is working to ensure we have the resources to reach as many students as possible.
Fundraising Officer: Jessie He
Jessie studies MA Educational Leadership and Management. She has done some previous volunteer work, mainly raising funds to help poor children in need back in China. In volunteering with Out in Education, she hopes she can contribute her part to reaching out to more young people and trying to overcome prejudice against LGBT+ students.
Social Media Officer: Aoife O’Gorman
Aoife is a third year History and Politics student and it is her first year volunteering with Out in Education. As a Social Media Officer, she hopes to reach a wider range of potential volunteers or those who may wish to donate, as well as interested youth (LGBT+ otherwise) who may learn something from our social media campaign. Since social media is so prevalent in our daily lives, she believes it is a real asset to our cause and hopes to use this asset to its fullest potential.
Rep: Philippa Rooney
Philippa (or Phill!) is a fourth year Spanish/German student, who has decided to get involved with Out in Education as a Rep during their final year of university. Previously they have been involved in a number of local volunteering projects aimed at young people, and they look forward to continuing this by working with Out in Education this year. They hope to provide the positive representation of LGBT+ identities within the education system that they sorely needed themselves when they were younger, and to play a small part in continuing the great work that the project is already doing.
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 (Rep 2016-17; Social Media Officer 2014-15)
Ben Dolton (Rep 2016-17)
Elisha Gilbertson (Rep 2016-17)
Alice Gould (Rep 2015-16)
Kit Shepherd (Fundraising Officer 2016)
Anam Sh (Outreach & Liaison 2015-16)
Lucy Wake (Founder)