First Minister commits to LGBT+ inclusive education in Scottish schools

Date: 24th January 2017
Category: Non-discrimination

Nicola Sturgeon has given her support to the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which has been lobbying the Scottish Government to introduce inclusive education into all Scottish schools as part of a new national approach to tackle high rates of bullying among LGBT+ youth.

The move comes after inequalities spokesperson for the Scottish Labour Party, Monica Lennon MSP, pressed the first minister to commit to introduce TIE's proposals at a legislative level during (12/01/17) First Minister's Questions in Holyrood.

Lennon said: "The First Minister is aware that many young LGBT people in schools are struggling with their mental health as a result of discriminatory bullying. TIE's research shows that ninety-five percent of LGBT people who have experienced bullying at schools say it has a long lasting negative impact on their wellbeing.

"The first minister has expressed support for the TIE campaign, so will she now commit to parliament that we will now see legislation coming forward, in the lifetime of this parliament, because it is such a serious issue and there is support right across this chamber - but there is no action coming forward."

In response, Sturgeon said: "I am a supporter of the TIE campaign, not just in their objectives but in the spirited way they go about trying to make sure that their objectives are taking forward.

"There is a commitment to take forward the issues that they have raised with the government, and we will do that in consultation with them. There is a lot of substance and detail in this, across a whole range of different areas of government responsibility, and it is important that we get that right across all of these areas."

TIE recently published research which found that nine out of ten LGBT people experience homophobia at school, and that 27% had attempted suicide as a result of bullying.

This week, the group has urged MSPs from all parties to sign a national five-point pledge to support their proposals 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.