Brighton & Hove City Council has again been named by Stonewall as the leading local authority in the country for tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying in schools.
The council has taken first place in the pressure group’s 2014 Education Equality Index, designed by anti-bullying and education specialists, which rates local authorities on their bullying prevention work in schools and the support available to lesbian, gay and bisexual young people in their local community. Brighton & Hove has been ranked in the top two for three years running.
Stonewall praised the council for “leading the way” in celebrating difference and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
An Equalities Conference for local schools hosted by Blatchington Mill and work done by St Nicolas’ Primary School on challenging the use of homophobic language in the playground were highlighted as particular successes.
Phélim MacCafferty, council LGBT Champion said “This award is a testament to the hard work of our brilliant young people, our educators, the dedicated work of the council’s Personal, Social & Health Education team and Allsorts, the youth LGBT organisation.
“Every young person deserves the best chance at school and we will continue to work to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the city’s classrooms and playgrounds.”
Councillor Sue Shanks, Chair of Children and Young People Committee added
“This is a proud moment for our city. We want all our young people to be proud of who they are and to be able to make the best of their talents without fear or prejudice.”
Caroline Lucas MP said
“I am delighted at this national recognition of the excellent efforts our city council and local schools are making to create a more equal, just and respectful society.”
“I too would like to pay tribute to the partnership with Allsorts Youth Project, I have seen the amazing work they are doing in our schools and the wider community to raise awareness of prejudice and discrimination. By creating safe and supportive environments for LGBT young people to be themselves and explore their feelings they are making a real difference to young people’s lives in the city”
Young people from Allsorts have delivered training to council and school staff and provided anti-homophobic bullying sessions in secondary Personal, Social & Health Education lessons and primary school assemblies.
Speaking at the Equalities Conference for local schools hosted by Blatchington Mill school in March this year, Stonewall’s Youth Coordinator Wayne Dhesi said
“We’re lucky that here in Brighton and Hove the City Council is really behind the prevention of anti-LGBT bullying. Some of the ideas we heard at the conference were fantastic and I can’t wait to see them in action at their schools. Often getting the support of the school and the local authority is the first hurdle but students don’t have to worry about that in Brighton and Hove.”
The award was presented at Stonewall’s “Education for All” conference on 4 July
Stonewall’s 2014 Education Equality Index Report can be downloaded from their website: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/documents/ed_equality_index_2014_final_4_lo.pdf
For more information please contact Brighton and Hove Green Party on 01273 766 670.