Scotland becomes first country in world to embed LGBT education in school curriculum

Scotland has become the first country in the world to embed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusive education across the school curriculum.

All school staff will be given a basic awareness e-learning course on LGBT inclusive education and a toolkit of LGBT inclusive education teaching resources.

A dedicated website will also be launched with resources for information to support young people.

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Subjects across age groups will now include LGBT identities, issues and history., focused on promoting equality, reducing bullying and improving the educational experiences of LGBT children and young people.

Scotland is to embed LGBT issues into the school curriculum.Scotland is to embed LGBT issues into the school curriculum.
Scotland is to embed LGBT issues into the school curriculum.

Parents, teachers, young people and LGBT organisations helped to develop the website, e-learning course and teaching resources.

Campaign groups welcomed the move.

A report by charity Stonewall found nearly half of lesbian, gay, bi and trans pupils, including 64 per cent of trans pupils, are bullied at school for being LGBT.

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Time for Inclusive Education co-founder Jordan Daly said: "I experienced bullying and prejudice at school for being gay, and it had a detrimental impact on my confidence and wellbeing for some time.

“This new website, and the supporting resources, which have been co-developed with teachers across Scotland, will support teachers to take a proactive, educational approach to tackling prejudice.

"Most importantly, this work will empower young people and provide them with an opportunity I didn't have at school – to feel valued, confident, and proud of who they are."

Councillor Stephen McCabe, Children and Young People spokesperson for local authority umbrella body Cosla, said: “Improving inclusion in our schools is a priority for local government.

"We welcome the materials published today, which will assist schools, teachers and education staff to drive this important agenda forward, ensuring all children and young people receive the support they need.”

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National Parent Forum of Scotland chair Margaret Wilson said: “We welcome the roll-out of LGBT inclusive education across the school curriculum.

"With other stakeholders, we have developed an information resource on LGBT-inclusive education for parents and carers to help them to support their children and ensure they have a positive educational experience, using an approach underpinned by children’s rights, kindness and respect.”

An LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group was established in 2017 to improve LGBT young people’s learning experience and to address bullying and discrimination. The group made 33 recommendations, which the Scottish Government accepted in full.

Children’s minister Clare Haughey said: “I am proud to say that Scotland is leading the way as the first country in the world to embed LGBT inclusive education right across the curriculum. By doing so, we can help young people to reach their full potential and flourish in a diverse and inclusive society.

“The launch of this ground-breaking suite of resources for schools takes us another step forward in ensuring that our curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools."

In 2017, delegates at the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching conference backed proposals to teach LGBT issues in schools.

Scotland decriminalised homosexuality in 1980, 13 years later than England and Wales.

Earlier this year, MSPs launched a consultation on whether conversion therapies, which are used to try and change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, should be criminalised.

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