The UNIQUE partnership stands in solidarity with LGBTIQ Prides

high school students and their teacher participating in the 2009 Amsterdam LGBTIQ Pride

16 June 2022 - The UNIQUE partnership, consisting of 9 partners in 7 European countries, stands in solidarity with LGBTIQ* Prides in Europe and worldwide. The UNIQUE project promotes the full inclusion of all students in vocational education and training, including LGBTIQ students. GALE is part of the partnership.

Drop-out due to hostile school cultures

Early LGBT school-leaving is expected to be a challenge, especially in countries where tolerance towards LGBTIQ people is low. All around the world, it has been shown that LGBTIQ students are substantially more bullied and excluded than other students, and that this leads to a range of negative mental and physical consequences. Research on students in the USA showed that LGBTIQ students missed up to three times as many lessons as their fellow students (32%) and 17% said they had to change schools because of LGBTIQ related harassment. In a 2016 study, over half (57.9%) of the LGBTIQ students who provided reasons for planning to not finish school said that unsupportive and hostile school climates were a barrier to completing high school. In Europe, our own research showed also worrying tendencies in vocational education.

Vocational teachers become ambassadors

The UNIQUE project works with an innovative approach to integrate sensitivity for LGBTIQ issues in vocational training. It recruits vocational teachers and trainers as ambassadors for inclusion and trains them to get involved in a range of promotion strategies.
Last month, 10 trainers of teachers were trained by GALE in Amsterdam. Now they are back in Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria and Poland and involved in codeveloping an online and life training and coaching for fellow vocational teachers. After the summer vacation, the trainer teachers in turn will train other teachers and coach them to improve the situation of LGBTIQ students. Their actions can range from small and personal, to the classroom, their own vocational training team, the entire Vocation al and Training Institute or even beyond.

Linking with prides

This month, the UNIQUE partners visit prides events and cooperate with local prides to express their solidarity and to increase their outreach beyond their own institutes. There is great interest of LGBTIQ organizations in the developments in the vocational education sector, which has hitherto been a somewhat neglected area for policy and education to promote sensitivity for LGBTIQ issues.

*LGBTIQ=Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex conditions, Queer
#uniqueproject #socialinclusion #LGBTIQpride #diversity #vocationaleducation #VET

Sources: More information on the UNIQUE project can be found on
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