In a bid to support inclusive learning, Scotland has become the first country in the world to incorporate lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender education into its school curriculum.
A basic awareness e-learning course on LGBT inclusive education, as well as a bundle of LGBT inclusive education teaching resources, will be delivered to all school employees. A separate website with materials for young people's support will also be launched.
LGBT identities, issues, and history will now be included in subjects for all age groups, with a focus on promoting equality, decreasing bullying, and improving the educational experiences of LGBT children and young people.
The website, e-learning course, and teaching resources were developed with the help of parents, teachers, young people, and LGBT organisations.
Campaign groups applauded the decision. According to the charity Stonewall’s research, nearly half of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans students, including 64% of trans students, are bullied at school because of their sexual orientation.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, Children and Young People spokesperson for local authority umbrella group 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.”
Margaret Wilson, chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland 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.”
In 2017, the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group was formed to improve the learning experience of LGBT young people and to address bullying and prejudice. The panel produced 33 suggestions, all of which were accepted in full by the Scottish government.
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.”
At the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching conference in 2017, delegates endorsed proposals to teach LGBT themes in schools.
In 1980, Scotland became the 13th country in the world to decriminalise homosexuality, 13 years after England and Wales.
MSPs started a consultation earlier this year to see if conversion therapies, which are designed to modify a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, should be made illegal.