LGBT School in Manchester? Setting the Record Straight

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Our friends at LGBT Youth North-West have found themselves in the limelight following newspaper reports about a possible LGBT school in Manchester.

Britain’s first gay school: Youth group unveils controversial plan to help bullied LGBT pupils in Manchester – in the Daily Mail, which features comments from former Tory Youth Minister, Tim Loughton.

School for LGBT pupils planned for Manchester – in the Guardian.

Amelia Lee, strategic director of LGBT Youth, has posted this clarification on the charity’s web site.

You may have read some things in the papers or online this week about LGBT Youth North West’s plans for an LGBT school.

Let’s separate the facts from the fiction here:

Facts:

1. We have received £63,000 Feasibility funding to take on a lease from Manchester City Council to run the LGBT Centre in Manchester on behalf of the LGBT community.

2. This funding includes training, a building refurb consultation, website support and funding for us to ask the LGBT Community what they want from the building.

3. If young LGBT people tell us they want an LGBT Inclusive school we will explore this.

Fiction:

1. No public money or grant income has been spent on a trip to New York.

2. No school plans have been developed currently. We are at very early consultation stages.

3. If we explore setting up an alternative education provision, this provision will be open to all pupils, and we would expect many pupils to not be LGBT.

It will also be in addition to what we currently do now, which is train over 10,000 pupils and teachers in mainstream schools each year, so we can make all mainstream schools safer for all pupils.

We work with some super schools that are really helping remove homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from education and we are proud of all their hard work.

 

She draws our attention also to the Joyce Layland Centre press release, which puts the possibility of the school into its wider social and community context.

A 26-year-old Manchester community centre could soon be transformed, thanks to a £63,000 grant won by an ambitious local charity. 

LGBT Youth North West will use the £63,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study for developments to The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre, a dedicated Manchester space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community groups.

The long-term plans for the centre could see its capacity extended with two extra floors, allowing the centre to support a far greater number of LGBT people.One of the plans from LGBT Youth North West, which manages the building, is to use the centre to create an LGBT-inclusive school, similar to the famous Harvey Milk school in New York City. LGBT schools are designed for – but not limited to – gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender young people, as well as those questioning their sexuality.

LGBT Youth North West also plans to train up its staff on over 80 training courses, ranging from carpentry to food hygiene, to allow the centre to be fully maintained by staff and volunteers and become fully sustainable.

LGBT Youth North West runs The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre on behalf of 15 community groups. As well as providing meeting space for a diverse range of groups, the centre currently also features rentable office space, an LGBT zine library and the Sidney Street vegetarian and vegan cafe. Sidney Street Cafe uses organic produce grown on a local allotment, which is cultivated by volunteers from the LGBT Centre.

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