Support for Students Award Queen Alexandra College Case Study

SPARK is an LGBTQ+ alliance at Queen Alexandra College. Students with highly complex learning needs explore and discover who they are in a safe and non-judgemental environment.

The group is peer led by High Needs Students and supported by LGBTQ+ staff. It is visible, active and promoted across college. LGTBQ+ students with complex issues such as autism, have a voice and express and explore their gender and sexuality in a safe and positive environment.

The group has enabled many highly vulnerable, high needs students to be honest, open and respected about how they feel. A SPARK member said, "This has changed my life. I am no longer self-destructive. I can accept myself for what I am and I have new found confidence."

The work of the LGBTQ+ SPARK group is discussed and celebrated across college. It educates high needs students and staff by reducing prejudice and intolerance and embraces diversity and inclusion. It breaks down barriers, normalises difference, and offers a trusted, safe shared experience.

The QAC SPARK group gives voice and presence to a highly marginalised group of young people whilst educating and supporting the wider college population.