Scotland leads the way in inclusive education

Scotland will become the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded in the curriculum, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has told parliament.

All state schools will be supported to teach LGBTI equality and inclusion across different age groups and subjects, grouped under various themes.

The themes will include 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.

All 33 recommendations by the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, created to improve the learning experience for LGBTI young people, have been accepted in full by the Scottish Government. Work to implement the recommendations will start immediately.

Deputy First Minister 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.”

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.”

 Background

 The LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group recommendations included:

  • 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

The Working Group will reconvene as part of a wider Implementation Group, designed to drive work forward while providing accountability and oversight. The recommendations are expected to be delivered before the end of the current Parliamentary term in May 2021.

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

All of the members of the Working Group fully support the recommendations.

See details on the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group.

Read the report and recommendations of the Working Group in full.

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