Information for Educators
Aim of our Research
The aim of STEP Study is to improve existing training for schools and colleges to better support the needs of LGBT+ pupils as a key way to help prevent poor mental health and enhance well-being in this group.
Importantly, we want to improve support for young people from all backgrounds, including racial, ethnic and religious minority groups as well as those from low income families.
We would like to understand what school pupils (whether or not they identify as LGBT+) and staff think is important for school staff to know. We also want to understand what makes it easier or more difficult for schools to access this training.
Why is STEP Study Important?
Most mental health problems begin during adolescence. Young people who identify as LGBT+ are at significantly greater risk of poorer mental health, self-harm, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviours. The school environment has a significant impact on young LGBT+ people’s mental health.
How Schools & Colleges can get Involved:
We want to hear from young people to understand which staff training needs they think are most important.
They can choose to participate in:
- 1-2-1 Interviews
- Focus Groups
- Online Creative Workshop
We welcome young people to support us to carry out our study as peer researchers.
This would involve co-leading group discussions and interviews, as well as helping to design creative workshops, helping to analyse and interpret study findings.
Informal discussions about any aspects of their lives. We want to hear the voices of people who often go unheard, e.g. Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and people from different religious/faith groups.
School & College Staff
Focus Groups & Interviews
We want to hear from school staff to see which staff training needs they think are most important. This may include teachers but also other staff who influence the school environment, including domestic staff, governors, headteachers, etc.
Online Creative Workshops
A creative online workshop for school staff, training providers, and young person representatives to help us identify ways to overcome challenges in taking up training for schools.
If staff would rather not talk in a group, they can choose to talk to a KCL researchers in a one-to-one interview.
How will my school benefit?
We will work in partnership with you to ensure there are notable benefits from participating.
- Information and advice about supporting pupils who identify as LGBT+ and on creating an inclusive school environment
- Information and materials for students and teachers about mental health
- Access to our Research Methods in Schools Education widening participation courses for Year 9-12 students studying or interested in studying social sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology), or who are interested in mental health more widely
- Formal links with King’s College London, including work placements and mentorship for students applying to university