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Charter Awardee Shout Out: Smithycroft Secondary School

In October, LGBT Youth Scotland was delighted to award the Gold LGBT Charter mark to Smithycroft Secondary School.

The school has demonstrated a clear commitment to LGBT+ inclusion through providing a safe space for students via lunch time groups.

Smithycroft has taken tremendous steps to support transgender and non-binary pupils and ensured that names and pronouns are communicated in a way that fits with the individual needs and desires of the pupils.

Additionally, Smithycroft has created an informative presentation on how best to support gender diverse young people in school and on residential trips.

Staff and pupils at Smithycroft have taken part in several events and activities to raise awareness on LGBT+ issues and discrimination, such as discussing key moments in LGBT+ history like Section 28 for LGBT History Month.

Staff have shown a tremendous dedication to inclusion and to improving understanding on LGBT+ issues. Over 70 teachers undertook LGBT+ Awareness Training in 2021 which helped them learn about the needs and experiences of LGBT+ young people.

  • Pupil involvement

The young people at Smithycroft have been made huge contributions towards gaining the Gold Charter Award.

The pupils engaged in activities such as the signing of a Pride flag as a pledge to inclusion and organising a bake sale for Purple Friday (LGBT Youth Scotland's annual fundraising day).

Pupils were also involved in consulting on a new school policy around supporting LGBTI+ pupils during PE.

Students in the LGBT+ Group have been instrumental in ensuring all students have a safe space to communicate, connect and get involved in awareness raising.

  • Here is what the pupils had to say about their experiences of LGBT+ inclusion at Smithycroft:

"Being LGBT in Smithy is great because you have a lot of resources to help you with problems you might face."

"Being LGBTQI + you feel no different from the other people at this school. Everybody treats you the same and you are not looked down upon, and even when you are scared to tell others but you tell a teacher they help you through it and help you feel no different. That is why this school is so great."

“Smithy having a Gold LGBT Charter is good because you know that you’re in a safe space to be who you are.”

  • Teaching staff also commented on how the Charter has positively impacted their school, stating:

"It has been an eye opener - it has very much changed the ethos of the school. Our LGBT staff have pointedly commented how relaxed and included they feel in the school - they also know that LGBT comments/taunts will be taken extremely seriously.

"I feel it has had a huge impact on the pupils and how the community feels about the school."

  • A student teacher at the school reached out to Smithycroft and stated:

"Thank you so much for all you do for LGBTQ+ inclusion – I can safely say that your work saves lives and I know you will have been a lifeline to so many young people."

We applaud the staff and pupils at Smithycroft Secondary School for all the work they have done to ensure all pupils feel safe and welcome in their school.

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