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Discrimination on the basis of gender reassignment or sexual orientation in schools and in further and higher education is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.


Local Education authorities must state in their annual education improvement plans how they will encourage equal opportunities, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people (Standards in Scotland’s Schools Act 2000). The five national priorities for school education in Scotland include the promotion of equality. However, the experience of many LGBT young people in schools, and of young people with LGBT parents, is certainly not one of equality.

Bullying in education

Research by LGBT Youth Scotland (PDF file) shows that many young LGBT people continue to face extremely high levels of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools, and to a lesser extent, in colleges and universities. Unfortunately the harassment provisions of the Equality Act don’t apply to education and so students experiencing homophobia, biphobia or transphobia from fellow students or teachers would have to raise a claim of discrimination in order to challenge such treatment under the Equality Act.

Colleges and universities

The majority of colleges and universities throughout Scotland have student LGBT societies and LGBT staff networks. Both NUS and NUS Scotland have active LGBT campaigns.

If you are facing any kind of discrimination in education, contact the Equality Advisory Support Service, which provides information and support on discrimination and human rights issues.

Useful contacts

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, promotes and safeguards the rights of all children and young people in Scotland.

LGBT Youth Scotland provide advice, on line and in person support and youth groups for young LGBT people.

Citizens Advice Scotland can provide information, support and in certain cases representation for discrimination claims.