Monday 2nd April 2012
Teenagers who are fighting against homophobic bullying in schools are preparing to attend an event in recognition of their achievements.
Anti-bullying teams from The Magna Carta School in Staines and Derby Moor Community Sports College in Derby are among 10 teams from across England which will travel to the capital for the event at Google's London headquarters.
The event will see participants share their anti-bullying practices with an audience of special guests including Minister of State for Schools MP Nick Gibb.
The teams were selected after taking part in a nationwide peer-led Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Programme run by the Diana Award charity, which trains young people to be ambassadors in their schools and communities.
Students from the Staines school challenged homophobic language in schools and created an emotive film Homophobia - Our Closeted Education, to help explore the issue.
The Derby students attended a training event at Birmingham City Football club which gave them campaigning skills, ideas and inspiration to ensure their school remains bully free.
Ian Pedler, deputy head at The Magna Carter School, said: "The Magna Carta School and the Runnymede 14 to 19 network is incredibly proud of the achievements of the students and staff involved in this groundbreaking project. The students recognised an area of school life that was not being addressed by school leaders and pioneered a project putting it firmly in focus.
"This not only impacted on students and staff at the school but on over two hundred schools throughout the UK, teaching unions, local education authorities and education specialists.
"The students should feel very proud of their outstanding achievements."
Fourteen-year-old ambassador Iqra Nawaz, from Littleover, Derby, said: "I feel very honoured to be part of the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme and to support the young people that need the help and courage to improve their lives."
The Diana Award was established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, as a legacy to her belief in the power of young people to change the world.