Festival of Politics 2023

Festival of Politics 2023

We were excited to be invited to participate in “Thirty-five years since Section 28”, a panel discussion event, as part of the Scottish Parliament’s annual Festival of Politics. Our Programmes & Delivery Officer, Rhona, was one of three panellists who took part in the event in Holyrood on Thursday, August 10.

Rhona joined Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, and Jim Whannel, a former teacher, primary education advisor, and activist on the panel which was hosted by Jamie Greene MSP.

The 90-minute event invited attendees to join panellists to “find out what longer and immediate impact the Section 28 clause had on the lives of LGBTI+ teachers and pupils and how societal attitudes have changed over the decades.”

The discussion began with questions for some of the panellists on their experience of the introduction of Section 28 and the personal effects it had on them as LGBT people in society, in their careers, and as LGBT activists. It then moved to ask how far they believe society has progressed following the repeal of Section 28 in Scotland in 2000, how the introduction of LGBT Inclusive Education in Scotland is working to undo the negative effects of Section 28, and where we believe we are currently at with that progress. Following an in-depth and insightful exploration of the 35 years since this clause was introduced, the floor was opened to audience members to ask any questions they had for the panellists.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to take part in the Festival of Politics and particularly this panel on Section 28. While the Section 28 legislation was passed 35 years ago, and repealed 23 years ago in Scotland, addressing the legacy of this prejudicial law remains a core aspect of my work as a Programmes & Delivery Officer here at TIE. I appreciated hearing the stories of Tim and Jim, two men who have long and successful careers in education and LGBT activism. Their commitment to campaigning for the rights of the LGBT community is inspiring. I also thank Jamie Greene for hosting and leading the panel. I hope that everyone who attended or watched online found it educational and gained an enhanced understanding of why LGBT Inclusive Education is so important and how vital it is to continue our work in Scotland's schools."

Rhona Hamilton Programmes & Delivery Officer, Time for Inclusive Education (TIE)

The Festival of Politics is an annual event taking place in the Scottish Parliament during the month of August. The program features events on politics, current affairs, and social and environmental issues, offering people in Scotland an opportunity to come to their Parliament and discuss the issues facing society today. We were grateful for the opportunity to be invited to explain how the work of TIE is helping Scotland progress towards a society free from prejudice whilst also highlighting the continued importance of LGBT Inclusive Education and its impact on the lives of all young people.

LGBT Inclusive Education became a national expectation for all schools in Scotland in 2021. The national Delivering LGBT Inclusive Education professional learning, learner workshops, and resources all support Scotland’s schools to deliver LGBT Inclusive Education to help end the legacy of Section 28.

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