Schools department backs LGBT History Month

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families will be attending the LGBT History Month pre-launch in November.

For the first time the event will take place in a school.

While History Month has attracted support from other government ministers and organisations such as the Crown Prosecution Service and the London Criminal Justice Board, it is the first time an education minister will attend the pre-launch.

Earlier this week the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families told the Labour party conference that he is committed to stamping out homophobic bullying in schools.

“No child should be bullied or held back because of their race, their disability or their sexuality,” Ed Balls said.

“We have published our first ever guidance to help schools tackle homophobic bullying.”

The fifth LGBT History Month is in February and the pre-launch is held to encourage local authorities, public and voluntary organisations, schools, universities, unions and individuals to organise their own events.

This year for the first time the Schools department has given permission for its logo to be used on the History Month website.

LGBT History Month was started by campaigning organisation Schools OUT.

Founded and run by volunteers in the wake of the abolition of Section 28, it has grown each year.

This year’s pre-launch will be held at Stoke Newington School in Hackney, one of the first to embrace LGBT History Month into its calendar. It has shared its pioneering ideas in a report on the LGBT History Month website.

“To have a minister from the Department of Children, Schools and Families sends out a message to all students, teachers, parents, staff, heads, governors and Local Education Authorities that we are here to stay and we need to be seen and heard,” said Tony Fenwick, co-chair of Schools Out and LGBT History Month.