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West Hatch High School supports LGBT+ History Month

West Hatch High School students interviewed Shadow Schools Minister and Ilford North MP Wes Streeting as part of their efforts to support LGBT+ History Month.

The aim of the interview was to explore the challenges those in our community face and ascertain the support that will be needed to build provision and awareness of LGBT+ issues.

Headteacher Daniel Leonard said, "The need to hear an authentic and truthful voice from someone who had experiences within the LGBT+ community was crucial to us as we understand that our community is developing in our understanding and respect for LGBT+ matters. Our school wants to create an open and honest dialogue between our students, helping our students connect with each other and with the wider world on this subject. Interviewing Wes Streeting, who has experienced issues like 'struggling to come out about my sexuality, because I did not know if I would be accepted or not' was a great insight into a real life scenario."

He added: "His passion and commitment in supporting the community has helped him to rise above, and to keep fighting, against discrimination and exclusion. Our students were able to ask questions about his experiences and challenges."

West Hatch High School will endeavour to educate its students about the need to support each other, engage in learning and to question and reflect.

Mr Leonard said, "We believe the more we work towards equality and acceptance for all in our school community, more students may be more able to speak their truths. Our students are in the process of building personal confidence which will allow them to accept, appreciate and love who they truly are. A goal that we are striving to hit."

The school's joint heads of Personal, Social, Emotional and Health Education, Sarah Duddridge and Shaunna Fraser, were elated with the maturity and confidence students showed, seizing a great opportunity for them to meet with a Member of Parliament.

Following the interview, the school has set students the challenge to have respect for the LGBT+ community and to devise strategies to help create support for members of the LGBT+ community both within the school and in the wider world.

The school hopes to develop closer links with local MPs to help challenge students’ perceptions, to raise mindfulness and acceptance of the LGBT+ within the school, surrounding boroughs and within Essex.