“Life Gets Better Together”: Scottish Schools to Include LGBTI Inclusive Education in the Curriculum

” love is too beautiful,/To stay hidden in the closet.” ( Jo Fitzpatrick, Nairn Academy Equality Forum)

Rainbow flag Benson Kua via Wikimedia CommonsThe Scottish Government has accepted in full the recommendations from a working group looking at including in the school curriculum issues around LGBTI  (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights.

Building on work already being done in some schools and taking initiatives forward  a “new national framework will be developed  to support consistent and effective delivery of LGBTI inclusive education in all Scottish schools “.

Minister for Children and Young People in the Scottish Government, local MSP Maree Todd described it as an historic day for Scotland.

Maree Todd said:

Maree Todd“During Scotland’s Year of Young People, it is fitting for this SNP Government to send a strong message of inclusivity, tolerance and respect to younger generations.

“This will make a huge difference to young people across the Highlands and Islands.

“From the Pride Marches in Inverness and Stornoway, to the tenacious work of the TIE group – I’m delighted to see the power of protest and campaigns being used to create meaningful positive change in our own communities.”

Featuring in the 33 recommendations are the themes:

  • To improve 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
  • The recording of incidents of LGBTI bullying in schools

Jordan Daly, Co-Founder of TIE ( Time for Inclusive Education) 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.

“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.”

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister in the Scottish Government said:

John Swinney 2“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 recommendations stress the need for a timetable for the implementation including the development of resources.  The new learning resources should include a variety of teaching materials (such as short films and displays) and address a range of thematic areas including: LGBTI terminology and identities,  history, addressing prejudice and homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying; LGBTI literature and lives; as well as examples of LGBTI inclusion for the context of subject specific teaching.

 A policy guidance document for local authorities and schools will be developed through joint working of the Scottish Government, COSLA and  relevant partner organisations. It will show  how the recommendations will be implemented and with clear measures on how schools can take them forward at the practical level.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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