Scotland is set to become the first country in the world to introduce LGBTQ+ inclusive lessons to their school curriculum.
In 2021, all public schools will receive lessons in issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community such as same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, praised the historic news.
“Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] equality,” he said in a statement.
“I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.”
According to Edinburgh Live back in November 2018, Scottish Ministers accepted the recommendations in full to deliver LGBTQ+ inclusive education to improve children’s understanding of the LGBTQ+ history.
Amid protests and harmful debates around the topic of LGBTQ-inclusive education in UK schools, Stonewall have found that 60% of British people believe it’s right to teach kids about diverse families including those with same-sex parents.
Support is even higher among young people, as this figure increases to 68% for Brits aged 16-24.
Meanwhile, around one fifth (17%) of those surveyed said they disagreed or strongly disagreed with LGBTQ-inclusive teaching for primary school pupils.
“LGBT-inclusive education is life-changing teaching for so many young people, which is why it’s so powerful to see so much of the British public support the new legislation,” said Paul Twocock, Chief Executive at Stonewall.
“We owe it to the next generation to ensure our schools are a place where all children and young people can be themselves.
“It’s essential the Government invests more in training and resources to better prepare teachers and schools to deliver high-quality LGBT-inclusive teaching now and in the future.”
The new figures show how attitudes have changed since Stonewall was founded 30 years ago to fight against Section 28, a piece of legislation which banned conversations about same-sex relationships and the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ in schools.
While Section 28 was repealed in 2003, its negative effects still live on to this day. Two in five (40%) LGBTQ pupils are never taught anything about LGBTQ issues, and almost half (45%) are bullied for being LGBTQ.
Stonewall hopes this will start to change from September 2020, when secondary schools across England will be required to teach about sexual orientation and gender identity, and primary schools will teach about different types of families including LGBTQ families.
Photography by Benson Kua via Flickr