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19/04/17 17:05

LGBTI inclusive education

Working group to improve experiences.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI) equality in schools is to be reviewed.

A working group is being established to examine how the education experience for LGBTI young people in Scotland can be improved.

It will be chaired by the Association of Directors of Education (ADES) and will include education leaders, equalities experts and young people, as well as representatives of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.

Minister for Higher and Further Education Shirley-Anne Somerville made the announcement during a Scottish Parliament debate. She said:

“Our education system must support all Scotland’s young people to reach their full potential and we have listened carefully to concerns about the difficulties being faced by some young people in schools.

“While local authorities and schools are best-placed to decide how to deliver the curriculum based on local needs and circumstances, there may be more that can done to improve the education experience for LGBTI young people. That is what this working group will consider and we look forward to receiving its recommendations in due course.”

Jordan Daly, co-founder of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), said:

"For the last two years we have campaigned from a grassroots level for LGBTI-inclusive education in all Scottish schools, and so the launch of this working group marks a significant step forward - not only for this movement, but for all LGBTI young people across the country.

"As such, we welcome this news, and now look forward to working alongside the Scottish Government and other organisations including LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall Scotland in order to ensure that the support which exists for our campaign translates into real change at a national level."

Ahead of the debate, Ms Somerville and Deputy First Minister John Swinney met TIE campaigners and representatives of Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, which currently supports school staff and teachers to meet the needs of LGBTI young people.

LGBT Youth Scotland Chief Executive Fergus McMillan, added:

“We welcome the establishment of a working group on LGBTI inclusive education and hope that it will be purposeful and focused on action that improves things directly for young people in all schools across Scotland.”

The detailed remit of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group will be agreed at its first meeting. Its membership includes representatives of:

  • Association of Directors of Education (ADES)
  • Education Scotland
  • Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • Equality & Human Rights Commission
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • National Parent Forum Scotland
  • respectme
  • School Leaders Scotland
  • Scottish Catholic Education Service
  • Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Stonewall Scotland
  • TIE