Commissioner welcomes call to teach LGBTI issues in schools

12 June 2017

The Commissioner has welcomed the news that Scotland's largest teaching union has backed calls for LGBTI issues to be taught in schools.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) voted to adopt the proposals of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.

The TIE campaign calls for:

  • LGBTI issues – such as same-sex families and the history of the LGBTI rights movement – to be included in curriculum guidance, and
  • teachers to be trained on how to address these issues in the classroom.

It also wants a legislative requirement to be placed on schools to tackle homophobic bullying.

Commissioner’s statement

The Commissioner said:

“The EIS adopting proposals to include LGBTI issues in education is a significant step towards providing all our children and young people with a rights-based education that promotes equality and respect.
“A comprehensive education is central to preparing children and young people for the adult world and children have a right to receive the information they need to live in the modern world and to keep themselves safe and healthy.
“Our schools need to be safe places where children and young people can learn without fear of bullying or discrimination.
“This is not the current case in Scotland. Recent research by TIE found that 90% of LGBT people experience homophobia, biphobia or transphobia at school. Young people shared their experiences of bullying, the disruptions to their education through moving schools to escape from severe bullying and in some cases, about their desperate attempts to commit suicide.
“This needs to change. The opportunity to learn and discuss LGBTI issues within the school environment is one positive way to tackle discrimination and prejudice and helps promotes tolerance and inclusion.
“We are working to support young people in Scotland, as part of the European Network of Young Advisors (ENYA), to raise issues of identity at the highest levels within Europe. The young people have identified the need for age appropriate education and awareness raising, opportunities for young people to develop a secure identity and positive healthy relationships in their lives. They were clear that funding and other resources need to be deployed by national and local government to support education and other initiatives to enable young people to develop secure identities and positive relationships.
“My office has fully supported the TIE campaign from the outset, and I want the Scottish Government to bring forward the legislation to make the campaign pledges a reality. The Government should ensure that schools cover LGBTI issues with children and young people with monitoring of this put in place.”

Learn more

TIE campaign

The official website of the TIE campaign.

Your rights: Protection against discrimination

Learn about children and young people’s right to be protected from all forms of discrimination.

MSP briefing: Personal and Social Education in schools

A briefing produced by our office around producing specific guidance for PSE teaching in schools.

President Trump’s transgender bathroom revocation

An article from our young blogger Aimee about a current LGBTI controversy in America.