Petitioner: Jordan Daly on behalf of T.I.E. - Time for Inclusive Education
04 August 2015
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to make the teaching of LGBTI+ issues and topics statutory in all schools, with the introduction of a diverse and fully inclusive education programme that addresses, acknowledges and highlights such matters relating to the LGBTI+ community in a positive and progressive manner.
27 October 2015: The Committee took evidence from Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson, T.I.E - Time for Inclusive Education and John Naples-Campbell, Teacher, Knightswood Secondary School, Glasgow. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, a selection of teacher training institutions, Falkirk Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, Braes High School, Vale of Leven Academy, COSLA, Stonewall Scotland, the Educational Institute of Scotland, YMCA Scotland and the Scout Association in Scotland. Link to Official Report 27 October 2015
12 January 2016: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the proposal of a specific statutory duty to teach LGBTI+ issues in Scottish schools is not supported by stakeholders. Link to Official Report 12 January 2016
The Scottish education system is failing LGBTI+ youth and a new, radical approach is required. It is one thing for a young kid to be struggling to accept themselves; it is another for them to feel trapped and excluded in an environment where they are supposed to feel safe and nurtured. The current Scottish Education Curriculum allows schools to opt-out of progressive teaching programmes that discuss topics relating to the LGBTI+ community, such as the Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood (RSHP) framework. This is unproductive. If we truly are a forward thinking society, then we need a progressive and inclusive education system to reflect this.
Some Scottish LGBTI+ organisations have already attempted to tackle this issue, with the creation of lesson plans, workshops, support groups et cetera and have found little success as a result of the fact that institutions have sovereignty over if and how they address such issues - thus, if we are serious about tackling homo/bi/transphobia and ensuring that LGBTI+ youth are included; then we need a statutory framework that all schools adhere to.
Ignorance is perpetuation: refusing to acknowledge the issue at hand allows it to grow. When we have 52% of LGBTI+ kids experiencing homophobic bullying in schools, why is it that only 12% have assemblies that address homophobic bullying? 44% of LGBTI+ pupils in Scotland believe that their school is not an “accepting, tolerant place” where they feel welcome; 71% regularly skip school, 49% do not feel that they are achieving their best - 54% are regularly self harming and 26% have attempted to take their own lives. This is an epidemic and it is unacceptable. It is time to get serious - statutory inclusion is the only way forward.