Brighton & Hove named top council for tackling homophobia in schools

July 4th, 2012 by

Leading gay equality charity Stonewall has named Brighton & Hove City Council top local authority in the country for tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools.

The council has come first in this year’s Stonewall Education Equality Index. This benchmarks the performance of different councils using a wide range of measures, including:

  •     What policies councils have for working with schools and spreading best practice in tackling homophobic bullying and homophobic language
  •     How much training and guidance is available for teachers and youth workers on sexual orientation and lesbian, gay and bisexual issues and also diversity of family make-up
  •     How much local youth and LGB groups are involved in supporting schools and their pupils
  •     Surveying young people to find out their experiences of bullying

Stonewall has described as exemplary the work the council does jointly with its good practice schools and Allsorts Youth Project. Young people from Allsorts have delivered training to council and school staff and provided anti-homophobic bullying sessions in secondary PSHE lessons.

The commitment shown over a number of years in the city to tackling homophobic bullying is recognised, and Stonewall also praises the council for regularly collecting data from young people and giving them the chance to talk about their experiences.

Marianne Lemond (Project Manager) and Stephen Murtagh (Peer Educator) collecting the award with Sam Beale from the Healthy Schools Team at The British Library

The deputy leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, said: “We know that our young LGBT population faces extra challenges, so I am incredibly proud of this award.
“In completing the index we are saying very clearly that we celebrate diversity and want to make a positive difference to our young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans citizens and indeed to the lives of all young people in the city.
“Our schools and our healthy schools team have fought hard to get here. But there is more to be done and we will continue our work driving homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from our city’s classrooms.”
Allsorts project manager Marianne Lemond said: “We have worked closely with the council for several years now to ensure that local schools are more inclusive and safe spaces for LGBTU young people and we are delighted that this work is getting due recognition.”

Blatchington Mill school deputy head Nick Wergan said: “Creating an environment where our students are happiest, safest and learn best means ensuring there is no place for discrimination of any kind in our school, and valuing the the diversity and inclusion of all our students.”