Plans for Britain’s first LGBT school shelved due to ‘lack of space’

Plans for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) school have been shelved after a feasibility study found there was no “space” for the unit, writes Sophie Scott.

LGBT Youth North West, based in Manchester, was given £63,000 last January from Social Investment Business to discover what young LGBT people in the city wanted from the charity’s centre.

The charity runs the The Joyce Layland LGBT Centre in the city and considered opening it as an LGBT-inclusive free school. It was reportedly inspired by the Harvey Milk High School in New York City, named after the first openly gay man to be elected into US public office.

But Amelia Lee, strategic director for LGBT Youth North West, told Schools Week that while a school was its first choice, the group had opted to develop the site into accommodation units.

She said that the space needed for a school was “bigger than what we could offer”.

The centre is estimated to be about 25 sq m and on one floor, with a café, four office rooms and two small rooms.

Ms Lee said the centre was still interested in opening a school “with the right partners” but did not feel it could do it on its own.

The charity is now planning to provide accommodation for young people who would otherwise have to stay in hostels.

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