X-Men star Sir Ian McKellen discusses homophobic bullying with Manor Park students

Sir Ian McKellen spent time with students at the school, discussing the impact of homophobic bullyin

Sir Ian McKellen spent time with students at the school, discussing the impact of homophobic bullying - Credit: Archant

Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen thrilled young students with tales of his career during a visit to discuss the impact of homophobic bullying.

The star of stage and screen included Little Ilford School in a series of visits to schools across the country to talk about the impact of homophobic bullying and language and to answer questions from students about homophobia and also about his career.

Sir Ian McKellen, whose credits include X-Men, spoke to different year groups and had a more intimate talk with a select group of students at the Manor Park school.

The star is co-founder of Stonewall, a lesbian, gay and bisexual rights charity, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. Stonewall was formed by a small group of men and women to oppose barriers to equality, such as Section 28 of the Local Government Act which stated “A local authority shall not promote the teaching of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” Section 28 was made law in the UK in May 1988 and was repealed in 2003.

Ian Wilson, head teacher at Little Ilford School, said: “Having Sir Ian McKellen in our school to talk about homophobic bullying was an inspirational experience for us all.”

Kate Chadwick, the Equality and Diversity Coordinator at Little Ilford School, said: “The visit of the global star Sir Ian McKellen to a school like Little Ilford demonstrates how important equality and diversity is in informing our shared humanity. Little Ilford’s continued commitment to tackling all forms of prejudice continues to explicitly tackle homophobic bullying and we strive to reflect our community through making gay role models part of our curriculum.”