Way, way back in 1998, Elly Barnes (before the Dr and the MBE!) was an 'out' queer music teacher, moving to a post of head of year in a secondary school in Hackney in 2005. As head of year she formed close relationships with the pupils, families and teachers. Elly had always been an 'out' queer teacher, however this wasn't the case for colleagues and so many young people and families - this is what she wanted to change!

Elly dedicated her career to changing the face of the education system by making nurseries, primaries, secondaries, colleges, universities LGBT+Friendly by developing accessible resources, providing training and a robust programme which guarantees positive change and facilitates young people, families and teachers alike to be themselves without any fear of discrimination.

In 2010, Elly began delivering Continuing Professional Development Days from her school, developing Educate & Celebrate and the PRIDE in Inclusion Award Programme for all schools to access. You can read more about Elly and her work HERE

Educate & Celebrate is an experienced  team of teachers and youth workers who have all made their own schools LGBT+Friendly, giving them the knowledge to deliver throughout the UK, the Channel Islands, Europe and globally. The team continue to develop resources and programmes responding to the needs of young people, teachers and families.

Goldsmiths University of London, Department of Educational Studies 

In partnership, Educate & Celebrate and Goldsmiths have produced extensive research of LGBT+ inclusion in a variety of settings. You can read our reports on schools serving faith communities, those in areas of high deprivation and our PRIDE Youth Network Programme on our academic research page. In addition Dr Elly Barnes MBE and Dr Anna Carlile have written essential guidance for schools in their book How to transform your school into an LGBT+ friendly place: A Guide for nursery, primary and secondary teachers – all our research can be found HERE 

After our intervention, staff surveys found:

  • When asked ‘is your school a safe place for students to come out as LGBT+’ staff reported an increase of 44% to 75% of ‘very safe’
  • When asked ‘is your school a safe place for students with LGBT+ parents to be open about their family, staff reported an increase from 50%-73% of definitely safe
  • When asked ‘is your school a safe place for teachers to come out as LGBT+, staff reported an increase from 84%-94%
  • When asked ‘Is there HBT bullying at your school, staff reported a decrease from 53%-0

After our intervention, pupil surveys found:

  • Students reported an increase in awareness and openness in the school facilitated by staff being LGBT+ inclusive in lessons. This was noted by students to not just be through PHSE lessons but in lessons in general and in assemblies.
  • Primary students noted that initially 50% had never talked about LGBT+ people which decreased to 12% over the year.
  • 94% of secondary students said they felt more confident in expressing their views and were able to be themselves in school.
  • One student commented that they became part of the schools PRIDE Youth Network ‘To meet other people in the LGBT+ community and to help our school show more PRIDE’.
  • Feeling part of the community and feeling empowered to make the positive changes within school increased their attendance.
  • Previously the schools were unable to identify their LGBT+ young people and identity trends in attendance but forming the PYN gave LGBT+ students visibility and targeted support.

'The Educate & Celebrate initiative is innovative and visionary' Ofsted, Jan 2016

Our Vision

Building a future of inclusion and social justice.

Our Mission

We equip you and your communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organisation. With a focus on the experiences, representation and inclusion of LGBT+ people, every day we are making society a more welcoming place for everyone.

Our Values

  • Empower

    We EMPOWER others to address the social injustices that exist.

  • Knowledgeable

    We are KNOWLEDGEABLE on current legal developments and best practice

  • Open-Eyes

    We OPEN-EYES and provide transformational insights that motivate others to join our vision for inclusion

  • Reassuring

    We are REASSURING and provide a safe space for open discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity

  • Confident

    We are CONFIDENT to have perceived difficult conversations

  • Support

    We SUPPORT organisations through the change process

Our Video

Watch our short film to see how together we are building cohesive communities with our partner schools.


Partner organisations