Leeds West Academy

Stonewall Youth Programme

Raising awareness and promoting equality

Leeds West Academy is one of five schools across the country to be selected to take part in a LGBT School Champion Programme. Working with the Stonewall Youth Programme, the project involves a group of students working to promote LGBT equality within the school and across the wider community. The process began with a Stonewall trainer coming in and working with a group of 15 students from Year 11 to Sixth Form.

Ms Hutchinson supported the event and said: "The LGBT workshop went fantastically well today. Our students took part in discussions and activities around issues that affect our LGBT community and worked towards forming plans to work on a series of campaigns."

So far the group are planning a series of assemblies for the whole school, collaborating with the Football Academy around a concept for rainbow laces, whilst also forming a series of information documents for parents and students. These campaigns will them be judged and put forward to the London Youth Awards.

Michael from Stonewall said: "The young people from today have been brilliant; they have engaged and worked extremely hard. Their ideas have been fantastic and Leeds West Academy is one of the best schools I have been in. The staff fhave been supportive and enthusiastic and I believe this academy is on its way to becoming a LGBT school champion."

One of the students commented: "This was one of the best days at school. I have learnt so much and I am really excited about bringing changes to LWA. It has been really powerful; as part of the LGBT community, it has shown me that school not only values me but wants to listen and make it better for everyone. I am looking forward to having my voice heard and getting involved and taking action."

Ms Hutchinson added: "It has been a fantastic day. Our students have been amazing. Their ideas and maturity has made me emotional at points, but throughout the day I have been incredibly proud."

For more information about the Stonewall Youth Programme, click here.