Exceeding Expectations

Exceeding Expectations is an initiative that aims to support Manchester schools in tackling homophobia has now been operating for one year.

Since November 2006, the three year multi agency partnership between Manchester City Council Children's Services [http://www.manchester.gov.uk] , the Lesbian and Gay Foundation [http://www.lgf.org.uk] , Manchester Healthy Schools Partnership, Albert Kennedy Trust [http://www.akt.org.uk] and Hope Theatre Company has successful addressed issues of homophobia within 176 schools through almost 40,000 quarterly newsletters to headteachers, teachers and school support staff.

The project, which was officially launched at Manchester Town Hall on 17 May 2007 (International Day Against Homophobia) [http://www.idaho.org.uk] showcased a theatre education piece which draws on the experiences of young queer people from Manchester to highlight and inform educators and other young people on issues surrounding homophobia. The piece has now been recorded for DVD and will be available for schools later in the year to coincide with a further six-week tour of the performance.

A Young People’s Participation Group has also been formed with a number of young adults from youth groups across Manchester. The youths in the group have so far been involved in designing a poster entitled its ‘OK 2 B gay’, which was supported by out gay rap artists Q Boy and Mz Fontaine.

Two other posters are scheduled to be produced by the group in and will look at reporting homophobic bullying in school and how young LGB people can protect themselves in school if they are suffering from bullying. The group is also currently developing a website for young people, which will empower them to support each other.

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