LGBT Youth Scotland welcomes today’s announcement by Scottish Government that a working group is being established to examine how the education experience for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people can be improved.
Part of a review LGBTI equality in schools, the working group will be chaired by the Association of Directors of Education (ADES) and will include education leaders, equalities experts and young people, as well as representatives of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.
Making the announcement during a Scottish Parliament debate, Minister for Higher and Further Education Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Our education system must support all Scotland’s young people to reach their full potential and we have listened carefully to concerns about the difficulties being faced by some young people in schools.
“While local authorities and schools are best-placed to decide how to deliver the curriculum based on local needs and circumstances, there may be more that can done to improve the education experience for LGBTI young people. That is what this working group will consider and we look forward to receiving its recommendations in due course.”
A TIE spokesperson commented:
"For the last two years we have campaigned from a grassroots level for LGBTI-inclusive education in all Scottish schools, and so the launch of this working group marks a significant step forward - not only for this movement, but for all LGBTI young people across the country.
"As such, we welcome this news, and now look forward to working alongside the Scottish Government and organisations including LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland, and the Scottish Trans Alliance in order to ensure that the support which exists for our campaign translates into real change at a national level."
Ahead of the debate, Ms Somerville and Deputy First Minister John Swinney met with representatives of LGBT Youth Scotland and TIE campaigners.
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, added:
“We welcome the establishment of a working group on LGBTI inclusive education and hope that it will be purposeful and focused on action that improves things directly for young people in all schools across Scotland.”