Scotland makes history with national LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum

Scotland is officially the first country in the world to embed LGBTQ+ inclusive education across the school curriculum.

A smiling female teacher stands at the top of a classroom full of engaged students

The school curriculum in Scotland has been updated to educate students of all ages on LGBTQ+ subject matter, including LGBTQ+ identities, issues, and history.

The aims of the updated curriculum are to promote equality, reduce bullying and improve the educational experiences of LGBTQ+ children and young people.

“I am proud to say that Scotland is leading the way as the first country in the world to embed LGBT inclusive education right across the curriculum,” said Clare Haughey, the Children’s Minister.

“By doing so, we can help young people to reach their full potential and flourish in a diverse and inclusive society. The launch of this ground-breaking suite of resources for schools takes us another step forward in ensuring that our curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools. The Scottish Government, in partnership with COSLA, is determined to provide a fully inclusive education for Scotland’s children and young people.”

To support the rollout of this new curriculum, there are a number of resources available to help schools deliver the material. As laid out on the Scottish government’s website, these include:

  • “a website where school staff, parents, carers, children and young people can access information to support LGBT children and young people
  • a basic awareness e-learning course for education staff on LGBT inclusive education
  • a toolkit of LGBT inclusive education teaching resources.”

These resources were developed by parents, teachers, young people, and LGBTQ+ organisations to assist with the rollout of the new curriculum.

This historic progression in education follows the founding of an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Education Working Group in 2017 which sought to improve LGBTQ+ young people’s learning experiences and address bullying and discrimination. This group made 33 recommendations to the Scottish government, all of which were accepted without hesitation.

Scotland is already known for its inclusive teaching practices, but this updated curriculum will only progress them further on their path towards ending homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in the school environment.

“I experienced bullying and prejudice at school for being gay, and it had a detrimental impact on my confidence and wellbeing for some time,” says Jordan Daly, co-founder of Time for Inclusive Education.

“This new website, and the supporting resources, which have been co-developed with teachers across Scotland, will support teachers to take a proactive, educational approach to tackling prejudice. Most importantly, this work will empower young people and provide them with an opportunity I didn’t have at school – to feel valued, confident, and proud of who they are.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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