The Equality Network’s remit is to work for LGBTI equality. We are party politically neutral, and we do not support any particular political party.
Key LGBTI equality issues in education include ending homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools, and ensuring that schools and teaching are fully inclusive and welcoming for LGBTI students – this should include LGBTI-inclusive Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood education in all schools.
Below is what the party manifestos say in these areas. We have only included quotes that relate directly and explicitly to LGBTI equality – of course there is more in the manifestos on other aspects of education. We also fully understand that people do not make decisions on who to vote for based just on what each party says about LGBTI equality! You can access the parties’ full manifestos from this page.
Support LGBTI+ Education in Schools. RISE is proud to support the aims of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign and our MSPs will fight to implement all of its recommendations. Although many schools have worked hard to address issues faced by LGBTI+ students, it is clear that we still have a very long way to go. More must be done to build an education system that is truly inclusive for all young people. (page 3 and page 14)
Support services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender pupils should be enhanced in line with the aims of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign. (page 13)
The Scottish Government should step in and offer funding for LGBTI+ training, with the initial goal of having at least one member of staff in each school trained specifically to deal with homophobic bullying and other LGBTI+ pastoral issues. For the avoidance of doubt, this requirement must apply to all schools. (page 14)
RISE also believes that the contribution of LGBTI+ groups and individuals in our society should be both highlighted and celebrated, and that the achievements of the LGBTI+ rights movement should be clearly recognised within the school curriculum. (page 14)
We also need to make further progress on equalities and discrimination at school. LGBT discrimination in particular has not received the attention it deserves. We think school inspections should specifically ask about school action on LGBT issues as opposed to simply broad equality matters. Dedicated reporting of LGBT incidents through SEEMiS should also be introduced. We also know that teachers are often unsure about how to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying and we would therefore develop a toolkit in cooperation with the third sector that would give teachers the confidence to take a lead in this area. (page 25)
All schools should provide robust ‘relationship, sexual health and parenthood’ education, covering the principles of equality, consent, signs of abuse and the full spectrum of gender and sexuality. (page 17)
Scottish Greens will show leadership on inclusive education policies for all pupils and families from primary age regardless of race, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, including a strong stance on bullying. We want to see all schools become UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools, where children’s human rights are embedded in a school’s ethos and culture to help all pupils realise their potential. Scottish Greens also support the Time for Inclusive Education campaign, which promotes inclusive LGBTI+ school environments. (page 17)
To promote the wellbeing of Scotland’s youth we will ensure that all young people, regardless of location, will have access to consistent sex education which considers LGBTI relationships and sexual health. We want to ensure that the professionals who work with our young people can provide support, tackle bullying and respond to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. We support the Time for Inclusive Education campaign. We will provide a strategy which will underpin this ambition, deliver an update to the Toolkit for Teachers, and set out clear standards detailing how best to meet their needs and support LGBTI young people. (page 37)
Scottish Liberal Democrats
Make sure there is … a strong commitment to diversity and anti-bullying, including a new initiative to tackle homophobic bullying (page 6).
Support effective training of school staff to support LGBTI young people in schools, and make sure sexual health, parenthood and relationships education is LGBTI inclusive in all schools (page 21).
Work with teachers and schools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and ask local authorities to record such behaviour (page 21).
Scottish National Party
We will promote healthy relationships and anti-bullying through refreshed, age-appropriate strategies and resources. We will also work with the Time for Inclusive Education campaign to promote an inclusive approach to sex and relationships education. (page 10 of detail section)
We recognise that Scotland has come a long way on issues such as LGBTI recognition, but that we have further to go. We expect all new guidance and promoted teachers – and eventually all teachers – to undertake training on equality, so they are confident in tackling prejudice-based bullying. We will provide additional funding where required. (page 21 of detail section)
Solidarity firmly supports the Time for Inclusive Education campaign as an essential aid in confronting, challenging and combatting homophobic bullying in schools and within educational environments. Solidarity believes TIE can play a role in defeating homo/bi/transphobia and create a safer learning environment for all pupils, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. (on this page)
Women’s Equality Party
Design and fund a plan for schools in Scotland to be recognised for best practice in delivering compulsory age-appropriate, specialist sex and relationships education across all school levels. This would include education on sex and relationships, gender identity, consent, mutual respect, sexual health and sexual orientations (page 18).