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Shut Out: The experiences of LGBT young people not in education, training and work

Stonewall’s new report, with BritainThinks, shines a light on the experiences of LGBT young people. Until now, as recognised by the Government Equalities Office in 2016, no research on LGBT inequalities has existed. Shut Out uncovers the specific challenges that lead many LGBT young people to become disengaged from education, training and work, alongside the obstacles many face to re-entry. On top of common challenges faced by many young people (such as difficulties knowing how to find employment opportunities, or experiences of poor physical health), many LGBT young people also experience LGBT-specific challenges – such as familial rejection after coming out, anti-LGBT discrimination at work, and a lack of inclusive teaching and pastoral support at school, college and university. These compound challenges can have a profound impact on LGBT young people’s mental health and ability to engage in education, training and work, and experienced and expected discrimination can deter these young people from re-entering further down the line. The report also identifies key measures to address these challenges.


Herts for Learning receives Gold Stonewall Champion Award - November 2019

Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality charity, has awarded Herts for Learning (HfL) its highest award in its Children and Children and Young People's Services Champions programme.

This award recognises that HfL, HCC and YC are a leader in putting LGBT inclusion at the heart of children and young people’s services and public health. HfL provides quality support and training about all aspects of LGBT inclusion to schools and to wider services and staff in Hertfordshire that work with schools

HfL holds a valued place in Stonewall’s network of organisations and local authorities striving to support and facilitate LGBT inclusion. This award enables us to highlight, evidence and showcase our work.

Why does LGBT inclusion matter?  According to Stonewall:

  • 84% of trans young people have self-harmed. For lesbian, gay, and bi young people who aren’t trans, 61% have self-harmed
  • 45% of trans young people have attempted to take their own life. For lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans, 22% have attempted to take their own life
  • just 40% of LGBT young people have an adult at home they can talk to about being LGBT.

It is therefore no surprise HfL’s commitment to equality and diversity is a key driver to ensure every young person can fulfil their potential. The HfL Wellbeing team continues to support schools on LGBT inclusive teaching from early years settings through to the end of secondary school in Hertfordshire and beyond. This work includes supporting schools in prevention of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia; support and training for school leaders on prejudice related incidents; parent sessions to support anti-bullying and anti-prejudice; and preparing schools to deliver the new RSHE curriculum, which must be LGBT inclusive. HfL also provide training to partners in Hertfordshire County Council working with LGBT young people.

If this story sounds familiar, it is because HfL’s LGBT work has been celebrated by Stonewall each year since 2011. Hertfordshire even received a special Stonewall award in 2015 as the ‘Top Performing’ organisation across five years.

Karin Hutchinson, Lead Wellbeing Adviser at HfL said of the award:  “This work is so important and we are delighted that we have maintained our position at the forefront of best practice, when the bar is constantly being raised. The new mandatory RSHE curriculum will ensure that all schools will be LGBT inclusive from September 2020, and in HfL we are well positioned to support any school that needs to evolve this aspect of their teaching.”

Find out more about pupil wellbeing, for all phases and settings:


LGBTQ+ pack - Transgender Trend - June 2019

The Herts LGBTQ+ Partnership Children and Young People’s Working Group* have recently reviewed the Transgender Trend resource pack for schools called “Supporting gender diverse and trans-identified students in schools”.

As a group we agree with the concerns raised by Stonewall UK. Consequently, we continue to recommend that Hertfordshire schools use the Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit produced by Brighton and Hove City Council, which is available on the grid at

This guidance is signposted to Hertfordshire schools because of its quality. There is other advice available from other local authorities and there is also guidance from Stonewall, the leading national LGBT charity. Please remember to risk assess and/or equality impact assess as appropriate when acting on any advice regarding protected characteristics. HfL Wellbeing advisers are available to discuss any concerns you may have about Transgender issues. Contact them on

*The Herts LGBTQ+ Partnership children and young people’s working group meets termly to bring together agencies and others including HCC, Herts police, Herts university, public health, schools and Herts for Learning to respond to specific needs and vulnerabilities of LGBTQ+ children and young people and to promote equality in Hertfordshire. We seek to develop collaborative practice to maximise expertise and impact.


LGBT History Month, February 2019 – Sharing good practice

Hertfordshire’s LGBTQ+ children and young people working group are inviting Hertfordshire schools to help us to mark LGBT History Month, February 2019.
We would like you to consider submitting a brief description and/or photographs of activities, events and/or developments that you have been involved in over 2018 or have planned for 2019 that has been designed to move your school forward to

  • progress LGBTQ+ equality (for staff or pupils)
  • prevent and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
  • support LGBTQ+ mental health and wellbeing
  • develop an LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum

We intend to share your submissions on the grid website to expand our examples of good practice in Hertfordshire schools.
We would welcome your submissions arriving at  by 14th January 2019, so that we can get them published in plenty of time.
I very much hope that you will be willing to share your ideas with other schools in this way.


Young people launch video to combat hate crime in Hertfordshire

Young people working with YC Hertfordshire, part of Hertfordshire County Council, have launched a video to encourage the reporting of hate crime

The video was created by young people from the Who Not What group of LGBTQ young people, supported by YC Hertfordshire. It depicts a young person who is targeted because of their sexuality and, subsequently, is supported by a Hate Crime Officer to report the crime.

Daisy, a member of Who Not What said: “We made the hate crime film because it is an important issue and the actual process of reporting hate incidents is rarely addressed or talked about so it was great to be able to make something creative for an important issue.“

The video can be accessed here:

and there is opportunity to give your feedback after watching the film via survey monkey:


Stonewall Education Index: winners 2016

Stonewall, Britain’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, in 2016 named Herts for Learning and Hertfordshire County Council as the best local authority in Britain for tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and celebrating difference in its schools. Read more on the Herts for Learning website:

Don’t miss reading Nicky Morgan’s October 2016 speech on the importance of LGBT equality.


Teachers: Schools should adopt positive view of homosexuality 2015

This article shows the growing imperative to address LGBT equality across all schools, for both staff and pupils.



Useful Additional Material

February LGBT History Month 2018

The theme this year is Geography: Mapping Our World. The Proud Trust has produce KS3 and KS4 resources to help secondary schools deliver lessons as part of the February LGBT History Month 2018. Primary schools may also get ideas by looking at the resources.


LGBT History Month 2018


Stonewall resources - Are you a boy or a girl?

Stonewall have released a lesson plan based on the book ‘Are you a boy or are you a girl? By Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher.

are you a Boy or Girl

ISBN: 9780993192500
Publisher: TQUAL Books

Stonewall primary lesson plan

For secondary schools they have created an assembly which schools can use as is or adapt.

Stonewall secondary assembly

Network Autism website - Supporting trans and gender questioning autistic pupils

We were disappointed that our planned training bringing Joe Butler to Hertfordshire was cancelled due to low numbers. So we are delighted to be able to provide our partner schools with access to Joe’s article ‘Supporting trans and gender questioning autistic pupils’. It is incredibly useful.


Stepping Out

Stepping out'Stepping Out’  is a 28-page booklet for people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual or think they might be; offering information and advice on ‘coming out’ - have a quick look inside:

Alongside this we also publish the ever popular leaflet 'Am I Bothered?' A leaflet for young people on raising the issue of homophobia and its impact on the lives of young lesbian, gay and bisexual people:

If you have any questions, or would like to request a sample copy, email: or you can order online!


Good Practice Case Studies

Gender Equality - Oakwood Primary School
Trans Inclusion Development at The Priory School
Supporting Young Transgender Pupils at Primary School
Martins Wood Primary School logoMartinswood: Anti-homophobia (Primary)

With Ofsted so focused on prevention of bullying, including schools' anti-homophobia work, this case study from Martins Wood Primary School may help show how it could be further developed in your school. 

Nascot Wood Junior School Resources

In 2012/13 Nascot Wood Junior school has been preparing their staff to tackle homophobia effectively.  They have agreed to share their resources.  See how these might be of assistance to you.