Cambridgeshire County Council fourth best local authority for tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools says report

PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 July 2016

Cambridge County Council celebrates LGBT History Month.

Cambridge County Council celebrates LGBT History Month.

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Cambridgeshire County Council has been named the fourth best local authority in Britain for tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and celebrating differences in schools.

It comes as Stonewall, Britain’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, publishes its Education Equality Index 2016, listing the top 10 local authorities.

Councillor Joan Whitehead, chairwoman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s children and young people’s committee, said: “We regard the prevention and tackling of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying to be an essential component of our work with children and young people.

“We have worked in close partnership with local LGBT charity SexYOUality over a number of years and together we are committed to making every school in the county a safe place for all pupils to learn – irrespective of their gender identity or sexuality.

“I 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 at all participating local authorities. 50 local authorities submitted entries to the 2016 index, the most competitive to date.

The index says “the council provides schools with an impressive array of practical support. Its PSHE service has updated its anti-bullying toolkit and offers schools specific guidance on supporting diversity and difference in religious education.

“It has also developed innovative guidance to support teachers in navigating discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity within Religious Education.

“Cambridgeshire’s Early Years’ Service continues to train early years practitioners as equalities-named coordinators (ENCos).

“The council also works closely with SexYOUality, the local charity supporting LGBT young people. The charity has delivered training to local authority and school staff, and runs workshops and assemblies for students on LGBT issues and held open sessions on LGBT mental health.

“SexYOUality’s ongoing contract with the local authority has been enhanced to offer support for trans children and young people and their families.

“The LGBT young people involved have delivered workshops in 20 schools and youth settings about the project, and Cambridge Central Library hosted a viewing and workshop during LGBT History Month 2016.”

Stonewall’s Teachers’ Report 2014 found that over 90 per cent of primary school staff – and eight in ten secondary school teachers – say they haven’t received specific training on how to tackle homophobic and biphobic bullying.

Results of the index were announced on Friday 8 July at Stonewall’s Education for All conference, where speakers included Gok Wan and Yvette Cooper MP.

To read the full report visit www.stonewall.org.uk/educationequalityindex

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