Saturday, November 29, 2008

Education Minister Makes History at LGBT History Month

Speaking at the LGBT History Month Pre-Launch, earlier this month, Parliamentary under Secretary for Education Baroness Morgan announced three new commitments for schools.

First, she said the Government was committed to monitoring and recording incidents of homophobic bullying: “Schools are required under the regulations to treat homophobic bullying with the same seriousness as other forms of bullying.”

Second, she committed the Department to training on LGBT issues: “We will support teachers through their training, so that they feel confident in using the guidance and in dealing with these issues.”

Third, she committed the Department to producing anti-transphobia guidance: “The Department has also recently announced that we will be developing guidance on bullying related to gender or gender identity over the coming months. I hope to be able to consult some of the stakeholders represented here on this guidance.”

Schools OUT’s Tony Fenwick said, “These are groundbreaking changes and we hope to see them put into effect in the next Parliament. I will be listening very carefully to the Queen’s Speech next week, together with a lot of LGBT activists in education.

“Schools OUT has urged the DCSF and the DfES before it to have homophobic and transphobic bullying and harassment recorded, reported and monitored in the same way as racist incidents for some ten years now. We have also consistently argued for more and better teacher training on LGBT issues.

“The DCSF guidance on homophobic bullying excludes our trans children and their parents. I am delighted to hear the Baroness announce that they are working to redress the balance and that they will work with experts in the field.”

You can read Baroness Morgan's speech here (Word document).

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