|SC||Variations of sex characteristics|
|GR1||Legal gender recognition without self-determination|
|GR2||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (over 16)|
|GR3||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (under 16)|
|FPN||LGBTI focal points network|
|CA||Ministerial call to action|
The Equality Act (2010) is the basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in education. It requires schools to advance equality of opportunity for LGBT learners and makes it unlawful for schools to discriminate against, harass or victimise a learner or potential learner in relation to admissions, in the way it provides education for learners, in the way it provides access to any benefit, facility or service to learners, or by excluding a learner or subjecting them to any other detriment on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Likewise, the Education and Inspections Act (2006) requires all state schools proactively prevent all forms of bullying, including homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying.
The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations (2014) states that the proprietor of an Academy or other independent school must ensure bullying at the school is prevented in so far as reasonably practicable, by drawing up and implementing an effective anti-bullying strategy.
In 2014 the government allocated £2 million to a programme in England to help build schools’ capacity to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying (the Anti-Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic (HBT) Bullying programme), in cooperation with relevant NGOs. In July 2016, the government provided a further £2.8 million to extend the programme from September 2016 to March 2019. In particular, the different regions of the United Kingdom have developed concrete policies and guidelines for school leaders and school staff to tackle bullying on grounds of sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.
In July 2017, the Department for Education in England published a document (Preventing and tackling bullying) addressed to head teachers, school staff, and governing bodies. It contains concrete definitions of bullying and provides specific guidelines on how to implement school inclusive strategies. Similarly, the National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People contains references to LGBT inclusion and has been circulated pending the results from a judicial review of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
Public Sector Equality Duty requires that activities should be inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. Statutory Relationships and Sex Education (from 2019) will have to be inclusive of LGBTQI issues (guidance will be issued in September 2018). This guidance will be informed by 12 Principles to which relevant organisations and government have signed up. Current research, however, shows that presently this is often not the case. According to Stonewall, two in five LGBT learners are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school, 76% have never learnt about or discussed bisexuality at school and 77% have never learnt about or discussed gender identity or what ‘trans’ means.
In Scotland, the curriculum is also not legislated nationally. The Scottish Government provides the framework for learning and teaching, while responsibility for what is taught rests with local councils. The Curriculum for Excellenceis a series of national reforms in education that have been phased in over the past ten years. This framework or guidance for schools focuses on the experiences and outcomes for children and young people. LGBT inclusion in schools and anti-discrimination work supports the achievement of the experiences and outcomes outlined in Curriculum for Excellence.
More specifically, the Scottish Government Guidance Conduct of Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education (RSHPE) in Schools (2014) sets out clear expectations of the delivery of RSHPE in schools following the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act (2014). This is an update to the original guidance issued after the repeal in 2000 of section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986. This repeal meant that it is legal and permissible to discuss lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships in a positive manner within the school environment. This document clearly states that relationships, sexual health and relationships education should be inclusive of, and responsive to, all, regardless of their sexual orientation.
There is currently no mandatory teacher training on LGBTQI awareness. In 2015, however, the National Children’s Bureau (NBC) was awarded funding from the Department of Education and Government Equalities Office to deliver training for 1,500 primary and secondary teachers in seven local authority areas. The training is said to build teacher’s ability to deliver a curriculum of sex and relationships education, within personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, which is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues and helps prevent bullying related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Furthermore, some universities or schools provide this training, often in collaboration with civil society organisations. In England, Stonewall, offers training to universities. LGBT Youth Scotland works with six of the eight teacher training universities in Scotland. Through lectures, workshops and seminars, trainee teachers are signposted to LGBTI inclusion resources and are given a basic overview of LGBTI inclusion. For the majority of these institutions this work is not mandatory, but each year, roughly 1.500 trainee teachers access these sessions. This work is currently funded by the Scottish Government.
The Gender Recognition Act (2004) states that a person of either gender who is aged at least 18 may make an application for a gender recognition certificate on the basis of their living gender or having changed gender under a law of another country. The application must include either a report made by a registered medical practitioner practising in the field of gender dysphoria and a report made by another registered medical practitioner, or a report made by a registered psychologist practising in that field and a report made by a registered medical practitioner.
In July 2016, the government published a Response to the Women and Equalities Committee Report on Transgender Equality. According to this document, the intention of the government is to develop a new action plan for transgender equality, which will include, a review of the Gender Recognition Act and will try to remove unnecessary requests for gender information.
The original report had two specific recommendations about the age limit for gender recognition (recommendation 7 (paragraph 70) and 8 (paragraph 71)): (a) “we recommend that provision should be made to allow 16- and 17-year-olds, with appropriate support, to apply for gender recognition, on the basis of self- declaration”; and (b) “We are very cautious about recommending gender recognition in respect of children aged under 16 (…), and believe the Government should further consider the possible risks and benefits”. Government’s response has stated that more evidence is needed on the case for change and the implications of altering the minimum age, moving to a self-declaration process and extending legal recognition to non-binary gender identities.
At the end of 2017, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on proposals which would bring Scotland’s Gender Recognition Act in line with international best practice, including: a self-declaration process, reducing the age at which recognition can be obtained to 16,considering options for under-16s, and options for the legal recognition of non-binary people.
The government does not provide data on homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and interphobic bullying.
Educational Action Challenging Homophobia provides a national helpline for victims of homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic bullying, and training to schools on sexual orientation, gender identity, and cyberbullying. In England, the Proud Trust provides support and training to LGBTQI learners to make a positive change for themselves and their communities through youth groups, peer support, delivering of training and events, campaigns, undertaking research and creating resources. LGBT Youth Scotland provides a national online support service and youth groups and one to one support in most local authority areas for learners in Scotland.
The government provides different resources for schools on how to tackle bullying on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and variations in sex characteristics. In 2014, the Department for Education of England and the Government Equalities Office published two pieces of research to look into effective ways of preventing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying . Likewise, the Ofsted, commissioned by the Department for Education, offered an overview of concrete measures to tackle discrimination in school in 2012 .
The Scottish Government and LGBT Youth Scotland have developed a Toolkit for Teachers: Dealing with Homophobia and Homophobic Bullying with information, guidance and specific lesson plans for teachers to include LGBT topics across all subjects. More recently, LGBT Youth Scotland, funded by the government’s Equalities Unit, has also developed a Guidance for Supporting Transgender Young People aimed to help primary and secondary education staff in Scotland support trans and non-binary learners. It is based on the experiences of transgender young people and good practice approaches suggested by teachers, youth workers and other professionals. The organisation is also one of the managing partners of Respectme(Scotland’s anti-bullying service) and is jointly working on a new resource for Scottish schools with a focus on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. This is supported by the Scottish Government through their Learning Directorate.
The government provides funding and support to LGBTQI civil society organisations working in the area of education.
– United Kingdom has signed the Call for Action by Ministers – Inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence.
– United Kingdom is a member of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network.
When the leading political party in Scotland made a manifesto commitment to provide age-appropriate guidance and resources to tackle prejudice and discrimination in regard to LGBTI inclusion, the Free Church of Scotland said they would resist it.
LGBT Youth Scotland set up an accreditation programme for schools to be recognised for the LGBT inclusion work they are completing.
Covers: SO and GIE
A resource developed by LGBT Youth Scotland, for primary and secondary teachers and school staff to support transgender and non-binary learners within education.
Diversity Role Models deliver workshops in secondary schools led by positive LGBT or straight ally role models. They speak directly to young people about their experiences to educate around difference, challenge stereotypes, and reduce the misuse of language. They have worked in 220 schools and reached over 50,000 young people across the UK.
Covers: SO and GIE
Stonewall’s Education Champions programme provides support and guidance to local authorities to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in local schools and support LGBT young people in their community
Covers: SO and GIE
Trans Inclusion Toolkit developed through a partnership involving Allsorts Youth Project, Brighton & Hove City Council’s Education Team, and schools and colleges.