County council among the best in the country for the way it tackles homophobic bullying in Cambridgeshire schools

13:22 04 July 2014

A RAINBOW flag flew outside Wisbech fire station for the first time to mark Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month.

A RAINBOW flag flew outside Wisbech fire station for the first time to mark Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month.

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Cambridgeshire is among the top local authorities in the country when it comes to tackling homophobic bullying in its schools.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall lists the county council as fourth in its Education Equality Index 2014, which is published today (4 July).

Cambridgeshire has been a member of Stonewall’s Education Champions Programme since it started in 2008. As part of the programme, local authorities work with Stonewall to establish ways of tackling homophobic bullying among young people.

Cambridgeshire’s submission for the award was led by CREDS (Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service) in partnership with SexYOUality – a Cambridgeshire charity for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

They were required to submit evidence of the work they had done with the local authority, schools and youth groups on training and educating adults and young people to tackle and overcome homophobic behaviour.

Councillor Joan Whitehead, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee said: “Cambridgeshire County Council regards the prevention and tackling of homophobic bullying to be an essential component of our work with children and young people. We are committed to making every school in the county a safe place for all pupils to learn – irrespective of their sexuality.

“We passionately believe that with education, dedication and determination, we can create a safe and inclusive learning environment for all young people.”

The Index measures practice and policy in all of the participating local authorities. 45 local councils submitted entries to the 2014 Index, the most competitive to date.

Luke Tryl, Stonewall Head of Education said: “Homophobic bullying still has a detrimental impact on the attendance, achievement and life chances of young people”

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