4 July 2014

Brighton & Hove named top council for tackling homophobia in schools

Brighton & Hove City Council has been named the top local authority in the country for tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying in schools.

Leading pressure group Stonewall has put the council in first place in their 2014 Education Equality Index. This rates the performance of different councils using a wide range of measures.

Stonewall has described the council as ‘leading the way’ in celebrating difference and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

They also praised the work the council does jointly with local charity the Allsorts Youth Project. Young people from Allsorts have delivered training to council and school staff and provided anti-homophobic bullying sessions in secondary PSHE lessons and primary school assemblies.

Stonewall praised Blatchington Mill School for a Student Equality Conference it held earlier this year, attended by 60 students from five secondary schools, and St Nicolas’ Primary School for the innovative work it has done on challenging the use of homophobic language in the playground.

The chair of the council’s children and young people committee, Councillor Sue Shanks, said: “We want all our young people to be proud of who they are and to be able to make the best of their talents without fear or prejudice.

“In our schools young people are active participants in our anti-bullying work. We give them the chance to talk about their experiences, and a lot of the excellent work Allsorts does is carried out by their young peer educators.

“This is a proud moment for our city. Our schools, the council’s educational standards and achievement Team and Allsorts deserve a great deal of praise for all the hard work they put into this very important area.”

Allsorts director Jess Wood MBE said: “The council and our schools have done amazing work this year and deserve this great recognition. We cannot praise the schools highly enough. They have taken on the issues and worked tirelessly to change things for the better.

“We all work closely together and this mutual support and enthusiasm has made our schools and our city a safer place for lgbt children and young people.”