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Scottish schools to teach LGBTI equality and inclusion

Image credit: Scottish Parliament 

Scottish schools to teach LGBTI equality and inclusion

Scotland will become the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded in the school curriculum.

All state schools will be supported to teach LGBTI equality and inclusion across different age groups and subjects.

These will be grouped under various themes including LGBTI terminology and identities; tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia; prejudice in relation to the LGBTI community; and promoting awareness of the history of LGBTI equalities and movements.

Work to implement all 33 recommendations by the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group will start immediately.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality.

“I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.

“Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential.

“That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.

“The recommendations I have accepted will not only improve the learning experience of our LGBTI young people, they will also support all learners to celebrate their differences, promote understanding and encourage inclusion.”

The Scottish Government has been working with the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign and others to address LGBTI bullying, discrimination and prejudice in schools through the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group since May 2017.

Jordan Daly, co-founder of TIE Campaign, said: "After three years of campaigning, we are delighted that LGBTI inclusive education will now become a reality in all of Scotland's state schools. This is a monumental victory for our campaign, and a historic moment for our country.

“The implementation of LGBTI inclusive education across all state schools is a world first, and in a time of global uncertainty, this sends a strong and clear message to LGBTI young people that they are valued here in Scotland.

“Eighteen years from the repeal of Section 28, we can finally put its destructive legacy to bed.

“Education is one of the most vital tools we have to tackle bullying, prejudice and discrimination - and it shapes the fabric of our society. We now look forward to continuing our work with the Scottish Government as we progress towards full implementation."

The LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group recommendations include improving LGBTI inclusion; improvement of practice and guidance for teachers; provision of professional learning for current and future teachers; monitoring and school inspections of LGBTI inclusion and the recording of incidents of LGBTI bullying in schools.

NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe said: “NUS Scotland warmly welcomes the statement today from the Scottish Government which will have a remarkable impact on the lives of young LGBTI people in Scotland.

“The TIE campaign has completely revolutionised the fabric of Scottish education. Their relentless campaigning to ensure LGBTI students are safe and free from homophobic bullying has been world-leading.

“NUS Scotland is proud to endorse the TIE campaign pledge for required teacher training to combat prejudice-based bullying. We are delighted that the Scottish Government will now put these plans into reality, ensuring a world-leading and inclusive Scottish education system for all students.”

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