Inspirational LGBT+ champion and former Stoke Newington teacher awarded MBE


An inspirational woman on a mission to ensure all schools are LGBT+ friendly has been awarded an MBE for her vital and groundbreaking work.

Elly Barnes, founder and CEO of Educate and Celebrate, was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her role in helping to eradicate discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and other sexual minorities (LGBT+).

She became a pioneer of LGBT+ inclusive education during her time at Stoke Newington School a decade ago, when she introduced celebrations for LGBT History Month and a mini Pride march for students.

After winning countless awards for her work, she founded the charity to help teachers follow its Best Practice Programme.

Ofsted have called the programme “innovative and visionary” and last year the Department for Education and equalities office gave the charity funding to train 60 schools in the programme.

Elly has also completed an MA focused on the importance and impact of LGBT+Inclusive education.

Speaking about her award, she said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked and incredibly excited, especially on our 10th anniversary! I can’t believe that my stubbornness, attention to language, and unwavering belief in equality and social justice has been recognised.

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“My friends, family and the Educate & Celebrate team have played a huge part in this process and we are all completely over the moon. The years of research and obsessive planning to change opinion will not stop - this gives me further momentum to continue the vital journey to LGBT+Inclusion.”