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Scotland introduces LGBTQ+ education
by Victoria Gothard, 10/10/21

Scotland has become the first country in the world to incorporate LGBTQ+ education into the school curriculum.

The campaign to introduce LGBTQ+ education into the Scottish school curriculum was launched by Time For Inclusive Education several years ago and the LGBTQ+ education has been in place in Scottish schools since September 2021. 

The Scottish government has also created resources to help guide teachers through this new content in the curriculum, which the pressure group Time for Inclusive Education has helped create.

The resources include education about LGBTQ+ icons such as Lady Gaga and poetry written about and by members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Time For Inclusive Education was founded in 2015 with the aim of combating homophobic/biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

As well as creating and providing a lot of the resources for the teachers they also lead workshops in schools to help educate pupils about prejudices, stereotypes, inequality and LGBTQ+ history. 

This significant move by the Scottish government has bolstered hopes that bullying of trans pupils in schools will reduce.

64 per cent of trans pupils have been bullied throughout their school career. 

Many school councillors and parent associations have expressed their support for this move by the Scottish government. 

This most recent move to introduce LGBTQ+ education into schools is very much in line with other pioneering measures that the Scottish government have taken in recent years. 

For example, Scotland is also the first country to have made period products free for anyone who menstruates. MSPs will also discuss criminalising conversion therapy later this year. 

In 2015 and 2016 Scotland was voted the best country in Europe for LGBTQ+ rights. 

Speaking about the introduction of LGBTQ+ education into Scottish schools, one University of Edinburgh student told The Student that she would have benefitted from further LGBTQ+ education during her time at school said: 

“Although I am not directly a part of this community, as an ally I think I would have benefitted from more exposure to indirect demonstrations of LGBTQ+ relationships and identities. I believe this would destigmatize the concept and make it easier to discuss”. 

Another student explained: 

“I believe the curriculum change for primary and secondary school students is wholly necessary and has been a long time coming. For kids to know about the full spectrum of what is an essential part of growing up and such a prominent fact of modern society, for them to be told from a young age that they don’t have to fit into a strict binary, I think provides them with a more realistic, healthier view on life. 

“Personally, I think that the university could do more on most fronts for student welfare, be that preventing and addressing homophobia or addressing the level of sexual assault cases reported. I think an introduction of LGBTQ+ curriculum into the university would be no bad thing; we can always learn more in the way of acceptance in such a diverse society”. 

Image: Pxfuel