Campaigners welcome Scottish Green’s commitment to inclusive education


Scottish Greens are the first party to make manifesto pledge for specific LGBT+ specific teacher training

CAMPAIGNERS for LGBT+ inclusive education have welcomed the commitment to specific teacher training in the Scottish Green’s 2016 manifesto.

The manifesto, launched today (11 April) in Glasgow by Rainbow Greens, the party’s LGBT+ members group, includes a range of measures to end discrimination against the LGBT+ community in many spheres of modern Scottish life including education and health. The manifesto includes a specific section on LGBT+ inclusion and teacher training.

The pledge follows months of campaigning by Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) which campaigns for reform to Scottish education to make schooling safe for LGBT+ youth who suffer disproportionately from bullying, exclusion, self-harm and suicide.

“The next parliament looks to be very progressive on LGBT+ equality – particularly focussed on inclusive education.” Tie campaign

A Tie spokesperson said: “It is fantastic to gather more political support for our campaign. We are pleased that the Scottish Greens have adopted our aims and committed to a clear strategy for tackling LGBT+ phobia in schools. With the amount of positivity coming from Scottish political parties around this issue, the next parliament looks to be very progressive on LGBT+ equality – particularly focussed on inclusive education.”

The ‘mini-manifesto’ represents the strongest statements so far in favour of the demands by the Tie campaign for inclusive teacher training.

The manifesto states: “All schools should provide comprehensive ‘relationship, sexual health and parenthood’ education which is equality-based and LGBTI+ inclusive. This should not only reflect the full spectrum of gender and sexuality but also should be inclusive of sexual consent and signs of abuse. We support the ongoing work of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.”

“We will seek to ensure training for all teachers so that they are better educated regarding LGBTI+ issues and can effectively tackle bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The launch of the short manifesto comes after an historic LGBT+ hustings which was dominated by discussion of LGBT+ inclusive education. After the event, Scottish Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie told CommonSpace that the Tie campaign had been important in bringing the issue to the fore.

Speaking after the manifesto launch he said: “The Time for Inclusive Education campaign is a clear call from young people, teachers and wider society for an education system that meets the needs of all LGBTI people in Scotland.

“Scottish Greens support this call for investment in improved teacher training to end homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in our schools.

“Green MSPs will continue to push the Scottish Government to take action to ensure all of Scotland’s young people feel safe, included and respected, and reach their full potential.”

The SNP also pledged to support the aims of the Tie campaign at its pre-election conference in March.

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Picture courtesy of Tie Campaign