Professor Richard Harris (Professor of History Education, University of Reading) and Dr. Maria Kambouri (Associate Professor of Early Childhood Care and Education, University of Reading) have successfully secured a combined funding of £5,000 from the University of Reading’s Vice-Chancellor’s Office, the University’s Institute of Education and the University’s Prosperity and Resilience Research Theme to continue their project on working in partnership with parents and teachers about normalising LGBTQ+ conversations in primary schools. The project will begin in October 2022 and end in July 2023.

The project will engage 3-5 local primary schools and work collaboratively with 12 teachers and parents, to develop much needed age-appropriate materials that can support and enable conversations around LGBTQ+ matters. The Department for Education’s recent Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) requirements means schools have to provide age-appropriate RSE teaching, yet there is little specific guidance on this, especially regarding LGBTQ+ matters. By working with a local school cluster, the intention is to create a model of working and materials that can be adopted by others.

This project builds on a work that Professor Harris and Dr. Kambouri started last year, with funding from the University’s internal Participatory Research fund (which itself was funded by Research England). This project piloted this approach with one local primary group. Additionally, Professor Harris’s previous research focused on young people’s LGBTQ+ experiences and Dr. Kambouri research previous research focused on working in partnership with parents and the key characteristics of effective partnerships. This project brings these two topics together and aims to work in partnership with parents and teachers and develop materials and approaches to help primary schools and parents to hold age-appropriate conversations with all children about LGBTQ+ matters.

If you want to find out more about the project, please visit:


To learn more about Professor Harris’s research interests, visit their profile page here. They tweet at @Dr_RJHarris.

To learn more about Dr. Kambouri’s research, visit her profile page here. She tweets at @maria_eva_37.