Stonewall today publishes its first Index of the top 10 local authorities engaged in preventing and tackling homophobic bullying in their schools. The 2011 Education Equality Index names Conservative-controlled Cambridgeshire County Council in first place.
Gok Wan announced the winner at Stonewall’s Education for All Conference this morning. The award was presented by Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, who said: ‘I’d like to congratulate Cambridgeshire County Council. They’ve shown how bullying, and in particular homophobic bullying, can be tackled effectively. Successful schools have clear policies – developed with pupils and parents – that result in pupils understanding what’s expected of them.
‘Tackling poor behaviour and bullying are top priorities for the Coalition Government. We are supporting schools to take a zero tolerance approach to all forms of bullying. We need to send the message that homophobic bullying, of any kind and of any child, is completely unacceptable. Homophobic language should become as unacceptable as racial slurs.’
The Index measures both good practice and policy and includes questions over three areas: the role of the local authority, working with local schools and working with the community.
‘I’m very proud that Cambridgeshire has achieved the highest ranking in Stonewall’s first Education Equality Index,’ said Cllr Nick Clarke, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council. ‘The Local Authority regards preventing and tackling homophobic bullying and making its schools a safe place for all pupils irrespective of their sexuality to be an essential component of our work with schools and young people.’
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive said: ‘Cambridgeshire’s work to tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying demonstrates a firm commitment to promoting a truly safe learning environment for all young people. We look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that equality in schools in Cambridgeshire remains a high priority.’
The 2011 Education Equality Index Top 10 are:
1 Cambridgeshire County Council
2 Brighton & Hove City Council
3 London Borough of Waltham Forest
4 Sheffield City Council
5 Birmingham City Council
6 Hertfordshire County Council
7 Hull City Council
7 Bristol City Council
9 London Borough of Brent
10 Oxfordshire County Council
1. Invitations were extended to the 149 English local authorities and the 32 Scottish local authorities to participate in Stonewall’s first Education Equality Index. 35 local authorities from across England and Scotland entered. Together they cover over 6,000 primary, secondary and special schools.
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