LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group: report to the Scottish Ministers

Group's recommendations to the Scottish Ministers.

2. Recommendations


In taking forward these recommendations, it is paramount a joint approach be taken. This has been successful in the past to deliver a shared policy aim, for example more recently a joint approach has been taken forward on the setting of a national minimum level for school clothing grants and a new national funding package for Educational Psychologists. The Scottish Government and COSLA, as well as partners involved, have found this to be a beneficial way of achieving shared ambitions.

Following conclusion of the Working Group and submission of these recommendations to the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Government and COSLA will begin to plan the practical delivery of the recommendations. Throughout this process, the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group will be asked to reconvene to act as an Implementation Group which will provide an oversight role.

Scottish Government, COSLA and partners will also develop a policy guidance document for local authorities and schools. This document will set out how the recommendations of the group will be implemented, with clear measures on how schools can take them forward at the practical level. The guidance would also be hosted on Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub, GLOW and will also be disseminated to partners for hosting on organisations’ webpages.

Implementing Recommendations

We recommend:

1. That the Scottish Government and COSLA publish a timetable for planned implementation.

2. That the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group agree the membership for an Implementation Group tasked with necessary development of resources and oversight of implementation.

3. That the Scottish Government and COSLA promote effective delivery of these recommendations, maximising reach and impact of all actions relating to this suite of recommendations, in order to achieve effective delivery of LGBTI inclusive education in all schools in Scotland.

4. That an intermediate guidance notice is promptly issued by the Scottish Government, in partnership with COSLA, to education authorities making clear that education should be LGBTI inclusive and encouraging schools to work collegiately and in partnership with their learners to enhance LGBTI inclusivity.

5. That the Scottish Government and local authorities engage with relevant and appropriate parent and carer groups, such as the National Parent Forum for Scotland (NPFS), to take account of their views on how best to implement these recommendations.

6. That the Scottish Government and local authorities engage with LGBTI young people, learning from their views and experiences and working with them through a co‑production approach to take account of their views on how best to implement these recommendations.

General Recommendations

We recommend:

7. That the Scottish Government develop National Guidance which clearly states expectations regarding LGBTI inclusive education and signposts teachers in any school in Scotland towards supporting resources. This links directly to this Working Group’s recommendation regarding the update of Conduct of Relationships, Sexual Health, and Parenthood Education in Schools (RSHP) (2014) Guidance below.

8. That the existing ‘Conduct of RSHP’ Statutory Guidance (2014) is updated to use a ‘thematic outcomes’ based approach[2]. These outcomes will cover various themes relating to LGBTI equality and inclusion, including:
a. Understanding LGBTI terminology and identities;
b. Representations of LGBTI people and their relationships in ways which seek to deliver understanding and equality;
c. Recognising and understanding homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia within school and their impact on wider society;
d. Tackling homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia[3] within school and their impact on wider society;
e. Understanding prejudice in relation to the LGBTI community and an awareness of the history of LGBTI equalities movements; and,
f. An understanding of respect, privacy and consent.

9. That this updated guidance is prioritised by the Scottish Government and delivered in the shortest possible timeframe, and in a manner that does not delay the implementation of this Working Group’s other recommendations.

10. That the outcomes included within this updated guidance apply to all public schools in Scotland. The guidance may be followed by independent schools.

11. That the Scottish Government and COSLA work in partnership with relevant organisations and agencies to support effective and consistent local implementation of this updated guidance.

12. That the impact of the updated Conduct of RSHP guidance is evaluated within five years of publication, and appropriate steps put in place to adapt, continue and develop this work. This should be evaluated against agreed success criteria[4] and the impact on LGBTI learners considered.

13. That Education Scotland review and further develop age and stage appropriate LGBTI specific curriculum benchmarks within targeted curricular areas, in collaboration with existing partners of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group and including LGBTI organisations, schools, and teachers.

14. That, at the next review of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), Education Scotland will lead on developing LGBTI specific Experiences and Outcomes.[5]

15. In recognising the centrality of national qualifications in shaping educational discourse, that SQA and Education Scotland work with the Implementation Group to ensure appropriate inclusion of LGBTI matters in the development of new or adapted course specifications, and relevant guidance, across the curriculum.

16. That should the Implementation Group not see sufficient progress in local delivery of LGBTI inclusive education by the end of the current Parliamentary term, then the Scottish Government should consult them on further measures, including legislative options.

Professional Learning

The Teacher Training Sub Group proposes two series of recommendations concerning Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL). These should be seen as complementary.

The Sub Group recognises and values the work presently undertaken by ITE providers throughout the country, in relation to LGBTI matters. It recommends:

17. That the Scottish Government builds on the current practice of ITE institutions, and works with relevant partners to ensure a long term, sustainable approach to LGBTI inclusive education within ITE provision.

18. In partnership with all ITE providers, the Scottish Government continue to encourage work focussing on LGBTI awareness inputs[6].
a. That these inputs should include existing[7] and future ITE providers;
b. That these inputs should enable and equip all ITE students with the skills and attributes to improve confidence to address LGBTI inclusive education within any educational setting;
c. That these inputs be designed to meet the needs of all ITE students embarking upon a career in any school in Scotland;
d. That within the individual context of each institution, and recognising their autonomy, all ITE providers maximise student teacher participation and engagement with these inputs; and,
e. That these inputs should be monitored and evaluated, and when necessary updated, to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of all students.

19. That the Scottish Government continues to fund relevant work to support achievement of the above actions.

The Sub Group recognises the proposals of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group will have implications for teachers, and as such recommends the development of suitable CLPL opportunities. It recommends:

20. That the Scottish Government fund sustainable CLPL provision on LGBTI inclusive education that is accessible to all teachers and school staff in Scotland.

21. That the Scottish Government lead and resource a new basic awareness LGBTI inclusion training course that will be suitable for all schools in Scotland. That this provision be developed in partnership with organisations currently represented on the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group.

22. That this CLPL provision be piloted in 2019 and an evaluation made of the impact. That, in light of evaluations and any necessary amendments, this new CLPL provision be available nationally during 2020; be free at the point of contact; and, where geographically possible, include face‑to‑face professional learning opportunities.

23. In taking these recommendations forward there should be engagement with SCEL and/or other appropriate representative leadership bodies.

We recognise this work is likely to lead to an increased demand for services provided by organisations already working in the field of LGBTI inclusion and equality, particularly more in-depth training courses or programmes[8], and we therefore recommend the Scottish Government ensures adequate funding is in place to enable these programmes to continue to meet demand.

Practice and Guidance

The Current Practice Sub Group recommends:

24. That the Scottish Government fund and work with relevant partners to review existing and support development of new teaching resources for LGBTI inclusive education in all Scottish public schools.
a. These resources should be developed in partnership with the Implementation Group;
b. These new learning resources should focus on LGBTI curricular inclusion and should include materials for all levels of the curriculum from early years to senior phase; and,
c. These new learning resources should include a variety of teaching materials (such as short films and displays) and address a range of thematic areas including: LGBTI terminology and identities; LGBTI history, addressing prejudice and homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying; LGBTI literature and lives; as well as examples of LGBTI inclusion for the context of subject specific teaching.

25. That the Scottish Government fund and work with relevant partners to support a new toolkit to enhance LGBTI inclusive education at a whole school level.
a. This should include content on developing school policy, building staff confidence in addressing prejudice, dealing with incidents of bullying, engaging parents and carers, case studies and scenarios, and an overview of related policy and legislation[9].
b. This toolkit should be used in conjunction with the recommendations on CLPL provision to direct staff to the new CLPL opportunities relating to LGBTI Inclusive Education.

26. That the Scottish Government commit to maximising the reach and impact of the new resources outlined in Recommendations 24 and 25 - ensuring they are effectively hosted and distributed, and through supporting implementation across schools in Scotland.

a. That new and existing resources will be hosted on Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub.

27. That the Scottish Government seeks to identify and showcase existing emerging school‑based good practice regarding LGBTI inclusive education.
a. That identified good practice regarding LGBTI inclusive education is showcased on the National Improvement Hub and regularly refreshed[10].
b. Building on existing LGBTI resources, the Scottish Government will work with Education Scotland and partners to provide a suite of resources to inform staff and education authorities on best practice to support transgender young people.

28. That the Scottish Government commits to ongoing evaluation of new resources to improve LGBTI inclusive education in schools across Scotland.

29. That the Scottish Government resource and invest in initiatives dedicated to advancing LGBTI inclusive education.

Monitoring and School Inspections

We recommend:

30. Education Scotland train further all school inspectors at an appropriate level, ensuring school inspectors are able to engage in professional dialogue about LGBTI equality and inclusion and have an understanding of what LGBTI inclusive education looks like within different educational settings such as: early learning and childcare and schools.

31. That Education Scotland collaborate with members of the Implementation Group by 2021 to co‑develop specific LGBTI prompt questions for use during all standard school inspections.

32. The Implementation Group develop evaluative approaches concerning LGBTI inclusion to inform the review of these recommendations, such as thematic inspection.

Recording of Bullying

We recommend:

33. That the Scottish Government should review the impact of the new procedures for monitoring and recording bullying incidents[11].


Email: Stuart Downes

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