Academics to explore LGBT education in upcoming event

Wed 24 March, 2021
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The University of Bedfordshire’s engaging Beds Talks series is back with a discussion on how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) themes are raised with primary school children.

Confirmed as the second Beds Talks event of 2021, this remote public webinar will provide notable guest speakers the opportunity to share research, resources, ideas and recommendations on the essential topic of ‘LGBT themes within and beyond relationships, health and sex education (RH(S)E) in primary school’.

This free public event takes place online on Monday 26th April and is open to students, staff and all members of the community. Attendees will receive instructions on how to join closer to the event date.

Event:

Beds Talks: LGBT themes within and beyond RH(S)E at primary school

Time:

5-6:30pm, Monday 26th April 2021

Location:

Online – Links will be sent to registered individuals

Tickets:

Register for your free ticket here

 

Contributions will come from University of Bedfordshire academics, qualified teachers and prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community. Panellists on the round table and guest speakers will aim provide recommendations for attendees on how to enhance LGBT themes in the early-years education environment.

There will also be a chance for audience members to ask the panel questions.

Led by Alex Baird and Dr Joanne Hill, the round table will discuss seven key areas – each led by a different expert – all falling under the overarching theme of the event. A complete event schedule can be found on the Eventbrite page.

Alex BairdSecretary of the LGBTQ Alliance for Bedfordshire staff and Lecturer in Sport and Physical Education, Alex Baird’s current research specifically explores gender and sexualities within RH(S)E at primary school. As co-host of the event, Alex hopes the discussion will clear up misconceptions about the teaching of LGBT relationships in primary education. She said:

“I’m delighted to be hosting this event and to be joined by a range of speakers who each offer valuable expertise around RH(S)E.

“I believe it’s incredibly important that we address how and why LGBT themes can be introduced into primary education, as there are a number of potential misinterpretations around the new syllabus.

“The new Relationships Education syllabus, introduced in September 2020, offers primary schools the opportunity to make all pupils and their families feel valued in relationships and health education classes, as well as in wider school culture.

“However, I have seen first-hand the misinterpretations and apprehensions around the subject which could undermine its intentions. Media attention often focuses upon such contention rather than representing the greater proportion of parents and carers in favour of the syllabus.

“These are the types of issues we will address during the Beds Talk, and I am excited to be doing so with such a great group of contributors.”

The event welcomes all attendees, and promises to be of particular interest to parents and carers of primary school-aged children, primary school staff members and students on teaching or social justice related courses.

Dr Joanne HillDr Joanne Hill – the event’s other co-host – researches socio-cultural issues in sport and physical education as a Senior Lecturer at the University’s School of Sport Science and Physical Activity. She believes a discussion on how LGBT issues are treated within education is essential. She said:

“I am honoured to co-host this event and as an ally I want to see schools and teachers feel confident about supporting children in learning about healthy, safe and loving families and relationships in all their diversity.

“Given the way that LGBT issues have been avoided in education in the past and that there can be misunderstanding about what the new Relationships and Health Education offers, it is important to create space to listen, learn, and discuss – which is what our event intends to do.”

Shaun DellentyMulti award-winning teacher and global LGBT+ advocate, Shaun Dellenty, has been invited to lead the ‘Empowering Authentic Schools’ section of this Beds Talks event. Named as one of the 100 most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent Shaun says dispelling the myths around introducing LGBT themes into primary education is best achieved by a compassionate school ethos. He said:

“School leadership taught me that some children know they are LGBT+ in primary school, whilst others arrive having LGBT+ family members and friends. Despite this, LGBT+ education – relatively new in schools – can sometimes be shrouded in myth and misconception.

“LGBT+ education sits most effectively within a whole school ethos of compassionate, intersectional inclusion and I am thrilled have been invited to share best practice at this wonderful University of Bedfordshire event.”

This Beds Talks panel will feature a number of other high profile and inspirational guest speakers, including:

  • Daniel Tomlinson-Gray – Co-founder and Director of LGBTed and author of new book ‘Big Gay Adventures in Education’
  • Charlotte Feather – University of Sunderland’s SU LGBTQ+ Officer and Creator of 'LGBTQ+ Primary Hub'
  • Graham Andre – Co-founder of Global Equality Collective and BAFTA nominee for ‘No More Boys and Girls’ BBC documentary
  • Andrew Moffat MBE – Global Teacher Prize nominee and Co-founder of the 'No Outsiders' charity
  • David Williams – Senior Tutor in Business and Chair of the University of Bedfordshire’s LGBTQ Alliance
  • Amanda Jamil – Foundation Curriculum Leader and Year 6 teacher at De Bohun Primary School, London
  • Kerri Loizou – PSHE Lead and Year 4 teacher at De Bohun Primary School, London

Register to join Beds Talks: LGBT themes within and beyond RH(S)E at primary school for free now via Eventbrite.

In its fourth year, the University of Bedfordshire’s Beds Talks series is a programme of community-facing events, driven by topical issues and current University-based research.

For further information about news and events at the University of Bedfordshire, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/news

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