Scotland Becomes The First Country To Have LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education
By Sofy Robertson
Scottish schools will now “formally recognise” LQBTQ+ issues as part of the curriculum. (The Canary)
In a landmark announcement, the Scottish government said that they will support state schools to teach “LQBTI equality and inclusion”.
The announcement was made at Holyrood on 8th November and the Scottish government later tweeted:
“We want every young LGBTI person in Scotland to feel safe, supported, and included at school.”
Since 2015, the TIE campaign has fought for LGBTIQ+ inclusive change in education. Their organisation tweeted that this was a “monumental victory” after Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, announced that the Scottish government had fully accepted the recommendations of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, seeing Scotland as the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded in the curriculum.
Commenting on the landmark decision, Swinney said:
“Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.
“The recommendations I have accepted will not only improve the learning experience of our LGBTI young people, they will also support all learners to celebrate their differences, promote understanding and encourage inclusion.”
TIE campaign co-founder, Jordan Daly, spoke out against criticisms that LGBTQ+ issues already held a great deal of emphasis in schools, saying:
“Education is one of the most vital tools we have to tackle bullying, prejudice and discrimination – and it shapes the fabric of our society.”
LGBTQ+ campaigners now feel that the “destructive legacy” of Section 28 can be “put to bed”. Section 28, enacted in 1988 by Thatcher’s government, stated that local authorities could not “promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” nor could they “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.
In June 2000, Section 28 was abolished in Scotland and the rest of the UK repealed the legislation in November 2003. This newest movement by the Scottish government has seen the hashtag #EducateToLiberate used repeatedly in-line with the announcement. Even Dame Emma Thompson weighed in on Twitter, saying
“When young people are free to be their genuine selves then they can live happy & fulfilled lives. With LGBT-inclusive education in all of Scotland’s schools, LGBT young people can build confidence & self esteem, & learn that they are part of a vibrant and beautiful community.”
The Scottish government have sent a strong message of inclusion through their announcement, making clear their intentions to form a united front against homophobia.