Durham County Council appoints advisotr to tackle homophobia

Elly Barnes
Elly Barnes

A COUNCIL has appointed an advisor to tackle homophobia and transphobia in schools.

Durham County Council has taken on Elly Barnes, a Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) advisor, to work within primary and secondary schools, including those in East Durham.

Elly, who will be in the role for a year, is the founder and chief executive of Educate and Celebrate, recognised by OFSTED for “best practice” in delivering training to teachers throughout the country.

She said: “We will be focussing on training and the curriculum and encouraging schools to be visible with their LGBT-inclusive work such as displaying school codes.

“If teachers hear any derogatory language, the school code on their walls works as a prompt to simply inform students that their use of language is unacceptable in their school.”

Caroline O’Neill, the county council’s head of education, said: “Elly has extensive experience and a proven recipe for success in tackling these issues and we are delighted to have her on-board.

“No young person should be afraid of growing up to be who they want to be and we are fully committed to tackling homophobia and transphobia in schools and helping our young people feel happy and confident to celebrate who they are.”

A national survey showed 72 per cent of teachers would welcome training in these issues.