Greens applaud school staff and campaigners for national anti-homophobia accolade
5 July 2012
Green councillors are congratulating schools, youth workers and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans) campaigners after the UK's first Green-led council was ranked best in the country for tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools.
Equality group Stonewall named Brighton & Hove City Council top in the country in its Education Equality Index.
The Index measures the performance of local education authorities in addressing homophobic and related bullying using a basket of indicators.
These include having robust policies on dealing with homophobic language and bullying, how much support is available for staff to help people with sexual orientation, the extent to which local lesbian, gay and bi support groups are involved and whether staff and pupils are regularly asked for their views on how to tackle homophobia.
Brighton & Hove City Council and local charity Allsorts Youth Project were singled out by Stonewall for their collaborative work including delivering training sessions for schools staff.
Deputy leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, who identifies as gay, said, "This is a proud moment for the whole city and honours the immense professional work put in by education staff, charities and teaching unions over the years; it also honours the tireless political campaigning undertaken by LGBT activists, including in my party, to help move our city step-by-step to be the best in the country in driving out homophobia from our classrooms.
"Over the years our political campaigning has had its impact, notably the successful campaign to issue standalone guidance to all education workers on supporting LGBT pupils and our forthright opposition to the shadow of Section 28, introduced by the Tories under Thatcher in the 1980s, and which did so much to discourage vital support for LGBT pupils. How different times are now.
"The Stonewall education award offers an opportunity to reflect on progress and to focus even more effectively on the problems that remain, building on the excellent collaborative work between the council and LGBT youth groups such as Allsorts."
More information on the Stonewall Education Equality Index here.
Official Brighton & Hove City Council statement here.
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