Southwark championed for celebrating LGBT equality in schools

6 July 2017

Stonewall, Britain’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, has named Southwark Council as one of the best local authorities for tackling anti-LGBT bullying and celebrating difference in its schools.

The council was named the Highest New Entry in the Education Equality Index 2017, a list of the top local authorities in Britain.

Now in its seventh year, the Index remains a vital tool for local authorities to benchmark their success in making local schools inclusive of LGBT issues and young people, measuring practice and policy at all the participating local authorities.

Southwark Council and its partners, including both Alfred Salter and Goodrich Primary Schools, have strongly supported ‘BOY’, a forum theatre piece created by Hyperfusion Theatre Company. ‘BOY’ focuses on tackling homophobic and identity based bullying and language. ‘BOY’ has recently been funded to also include pupil ambassador workshops and whole school staff training.

The council also runs an extensive range of training for school staff on preventing and tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Young people from Southwark’s LGBT youth group, SPARK, have received awareness raising sessions on the risks of sexual exploitation and are advising the council on tactics to combat this crime, particularly in relation to vulnerable young people questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity for the first time.

Cllr Victoria Mills, cabinet member for children and schools, said: “We are very proud of our schools and the work we do to stamp out bullying and protect our young people and it is fantastic that this has been recognised by Stonewall who are undoubtedly the leading campaigners for LGBT equality.”

Sarah Rose, Senior Account Manager at Stonewall, said: ‘We’ve seen outstanding work from all of those local authorities that have participated in this year’s Education Equality Index – especially our Top 10 and our award winners. 

“Southwark Council has made huge strides with its phenomenal initiatives and inspiring work with and for local young people, working to celebrate difference and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.”

The launch of the Index coincides with the release of Stonewall research, the School Report, a comprehensive survey into the experiences of young people, aged 11 – 19 years old, in Britain’s schools in 2017.

Stonewall works directly with over 1000 primary, secondary and special schools, as well as pupil referral units to help them celebrate difference and tackle anti-LGBT bullying.

The School Report 2017 found that anti-LGBT bullying has decreased substantially over the past decade. Other results showed that seven in ten bullied LGBT pupils say teachers who are present during homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying do not intervene.

Page last updated: 21 November 2017