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Plans for UK’s first LGBT school abandoned

By Ben Kelly

Plans for the UK’s first LGBT school have been scrapped, over an apparent lack of space.

A Manchester based charity, LGBT Youth North West – which runs The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre in the city – was given £63,000 last January from Social Investment Business to investigate what young LGBT people in the city wanted from them. They had considered opening an LGBT-inclusive free school.

But this week, the group’s strategic director Amelia Lee said that while the school had been their initial idea, they have now opted to develop their space into accommodation instead, claiming the area needed for a school was “bigger than what we could offer”. The new accommodation will be for young LGBT people at risk of being homeless, or who are staying in hostels.

Speaking to Schools Week, Lee added that they were still interested in opening a school with interested partners, but did not have the resources to do it alone.

The school was to be modelled on the Harvey Milk High School in New York City (pictured below), which was established in 1985 and named after the first gay man to be elected to public office in the United States.


The model had attracted some criticism for what would be an acceptance that mainstream schooling does not sufficiently provide for LGBT students, and which would ultimately segregate them from their peers.

The news comes in a week when the U.S. city of Atlanta announced it would be opening an LGBT only high school – Pride School – which will open this September, with fees of around $13,000 a year.

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