Faith leaders, humanists and education experts sign open letter on the importance of an LGBT-inclusive education
Open letter raises concerns that the Department for Education may dilute the advice on LGBT inclusion for independent schools
Letter urges the secretary of state to ensure all children receive an education that ‘promotes respect and encourages LGBT acceptance'
A Stonewall spokesperson said: 'The introduction of statutory Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education is a huge opportunity to ensure that all young people, including those who are LGBT, have the information they need to have safe, healthy relationships and are supported to reach their full potential.
'Delivering an age-appropriate, LGBT-inclusive curriculum at primary and secondary school is vital to ensure every student sees themselves reflected in their learning. It also builds acceptance and understanding for LGBT people from a young age, helping to tackle the anti-LGBT bullying that remains commonplace in our classrooms and on our playgrounds.
'But we know from our research that two in five LGBT pupils never learn anything about LGBT issues at school. That’s why the introduction of statutory Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education presents such an important opportunity.
'In recent years, a growing number of faith organisations and schools with a faith ethos have taken proactive steps to create LGBT-inclusive learning environments. In the last year alone, Stonewall has worked with over 500 schools with a faith ethos as part of the Government’s ongoing programme to address anti-LGBT bullying in schools.
'This joint letter, signed by over 50 religion and belief leaders, sends out a clear and important message that LGBT and faith identities are not mutually exclusive. They are demonstrating that schools and faith leaders are coming out in support of LGBT inclusion not in spite of their faith ethos, but because of it.
'It’s now crucial that the Government’s final guidance for teaching these subjects is fully LGBT-inclusive, and is supported by the training and resources teachers need to ensure every young person feels accepted, understood and included.'