A charity has said it is open to the idea of turning a community centre in Manchester into Britain’s first LGBT school.
Amelia Lee, strategic director for LGBT Youth North West, told The Guardian:
This is about saving lives. Despite the laws that claim to protect gay people from homophobic bullying, the truth is that in schools especially, bullying is still incredibly common and causes young people to feel isolated and alienated, which often leads to truanting and, in the worst-case scenarios, to suicide.
We have an education system that sets up 5%-10% of pupils to fail through fear and structure, because it routinely fails to recognise and incorporate the needs of young people struggling with their identities. We can either hope every school is going to be inclusive, or we can recognise we are not there yet and so, for the moment, we need more specialised schools.
Lee said any proposed school would also be open to those suffering with mental health problems as well as young parents and carers.
A Manchester city council spokeswoman confirmed to The Guardian that there had been discussions with the charity about providing an education centre for LGBT children.
She said the council had helped with the bid for funding and was aware of plans to provide additional educational support to young LGBT people.
However, she added: "We've had an initial discussion with them about that but there are no current plans that we're aware of to open a LGBT school in the city."
LGBT Youth North West said on Thursday that any alternative education provision created at the centre would be open to all pupils, adding: "We would expect many pupils to not be LGBT."
Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.
Contact Richard James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.