City of Edinburgh council among best local authorities in tackling anti-gay bullying and celebrating difference

First ever Scottish local authority to secure spot on Stonewall Top 10 list

City of Edinburgh council has been named by Stonewall as one of the best local authorities in Britain for tackling homophobic bullying and celebrating difference in their schools. The council is number 7 on the Stonewall Top 10 local authorities list 2013 and is the first Scottish local authority to ever appear in the Top 10.

Stonewall’s Education Equality Index measures practice and policy at all of the participating local authorities. 42 local authorities submitted entries to the 2013 Index, the most competitive index to date. The School Report 2012 – research conducted by the University of Cambridge – showed that more than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people experience homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools. Three in five gay pupils who experience homophobic bullying say that teachers who witness the bullying never intervene.

Full results of the 2013 Stonewall Top 10 local authorities list will be announced at a ceremony at the charity’s annual education conference held today (5 July) at the Barbican in London, with the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “A lot of very positive work is carried out in our schools to promote equality, tackle discrimination and bullying so I’m delighted that Stonewall has recognised the efforts of the council, school staff and pupils. Steps this year have included making sure that every school is implementing the council’s equalities and anti-bullying policy and building on the strong links already established with LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall. Our schools recognise that homophobic bullying exists and have a range of ways of dealing with it, according to each individual situation. Everyone agrees that any form of bullying is completely unacceptable and I hope the progress being made in our schools to tackle this issue will ensure that every child in Edinburgh is safe from harm and the fear of harm.”

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: ‘City of Edinburgh council deserves enormous congratulations on securing a Top 10 place in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index. Homophobic bullying has a detrimental impact on the attendance, achievement and life chances of young people, so it’s fantastic to see the work of City of Edinburgh council highlighted through the Index to inspire others to take action to make schools a safe and supportive place to help all young people to achieve their potential.’

The Education Equality Index 2013 is available from www.stonewall.org.uk/educationequalityindex 

Ends

For more information contact James Lawrence, Communications Officer on 020 7593 1857/07985 439 660.

Notes for editors
1) Stonewall is the gay equality charity, www.stonewall.org.uk 

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