MSPs debate LGBT education in Scots schools

Kids at school

​Inclusive education campaign is gaining momentum 

19th April 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

MSPs are set to debate a campaign's call for LGBT issues to be taught in all Scottish schools.

Monica Lennon, the inequalities spokesperson for Scottish Labour, will lead a Holyrood members' debate tonight (19 April) in support of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which has pushed for a new national strategy to tackle homophobic bullying.

A majority of MSPs have already pledged to advance the campaign’s proposals after sixty nine MSPs from all political parties recently signed a five-point campaign pledge, committing to support the group's strategy.

Among the proposals are calls for LGBT issues, such as same-sex families and the history of the LGBT rights movement, to be included in curricular guidance and for teachers to be trained on how to address the topic in the classroom.

Lennon said: "We have marriage equality in Scotland but children and young people are still struggling for acceptance in our schools.

"The time for LGBT inclusive education is long overdue and with a majority of MSPs calling for legislation in this area within the lifetime of this parliament, the Scottish Government can proceed at pace and in confidence that there is cross-party support. 

“Every passing day is a missed opportunity to make all schools safer and inclusive for LGBT pupils, families and teachers. The TIE Campaign has put LGBT young people firmly on the agenda and through my members’ debate, MSPs will be sending a message to them that they are not alone."

Recent research from TIE highlighted that nine out of ten LGBT pupils reported experiencing homophobia at school, while 42% had attempted suicide as a result of being bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Last month, a resolution calling on the Scottish Government to establish a joint working group with the campaign passed unanimously at the SNP's Spring Conference, meaning that the issue will be taken forward at a national level.