Berry-Downs, Huw

Start date:
October 2021
Research Topic:
LGBTQ inclusive education
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
EJ Renold
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:

Silenced and invisible? Examining the role of education and educators in the support of LGBTQ+ pupils in secondary schools.

English SRE has been updated to combat schools’ implicit homophobia, with state schools now teaching content including same-sex parents and safe-sex for LGBTQ+ couples. Wales plans to implement a similar curriculum in coming years. LGBTQ+ students who report curricular inclusion are more likely to be accepted among peers. However, queer religious pupils are forced to negotiate their sexual and religious selves to conform to heteronormative narratives. This has not been explored with a specific view to supporting educators. My research seeks to enable schools to best support their queer students. The research will adopt a compare and contrast approach between English and Welsh SRE curricula, with a focus on how religion and queerness occupy the same educational spaces and aim to develop competent and confident inclusive practitioners.

Research questions:
– To what extent do teachers feel confident and prepared to teach LGBTQ+ content, and how do they currently achieve inclusivity?
– How might religious ideology work as a barrier to LGBTQ+ inclusivity in secondary schooling?
– How are more “complex” and intersectional (including religious) identities currently addressed and discussed as part of SRE practice and how do pupils perceive this education?
– How can schools prepare for LGBTQ+ inclusive curricula in line with new or forthcoming SRE guidance?