We support parents and carers being involved in their child’s education. As part of this approach, we encourage schools to keep their school community up to date with LGBT Inclusive Education and give parents and carers space to learn about this work.
The information on this page is designed to help parents and carers fully understand what LGBT Inclusive Education is and how it is being developed through the National Approach.
What is LGBT Inclusive Education?
It is including LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people and history in the school curriculum. This helps learners understand that LGBT people are an equal part of our society and lets LGBT young people feel included in their learning. It also supports schools to proactively address prejudice and bullying experienced by young people who are LGBT, are thought to be LGBT by others, or have LGBT family members. This is similar to how many schools are approaching education on topics such as race, disability, sexism and anti-religious prejudice.
LGBT Inclusive Education is important because homophobia is one of the most common forms of prejudice in schools. Research shows that LGBT young people experience high rates of bullying, often with long term effects. This work improves the lives of all young people, as many of those experiencing homophobic bullying are not LGBT.
The Scottish Government’s expectation is that LGBT Inclusive Education will be delivered in early years settings, primary and secondary schools in Scotland. Further information about LGBT Inclusive Education in these individual settings can be found here:
All young people will learn it is important to be themselves. Schools are encouraged to represent a diverse range of people and families in learning, which includes people who are LGBT and LGBT families. This ensures all learners have the opportunity to learn about the diversity of our society.
LGBT Inclusive Education is suitable for the age of learners. What is taught at primary school is different to secondary. For example, in P1 this may mean one of the storytime books read throughout the year features a family with same-sex parents, such as ‘And Tango Makes Three’. An explanation of prejudice and discrimination may be introduced in upper primary school. At secondary school, learners will have the opportunity to explore topics in more depth, such as the history of LGBT equality movements.
Teachers plan learning based on LGBT Learning Themes, but develop their own curriculum materials. This gives teachers the flexibility to tailor learning to their young people and setting. The Learning Themes are included across the curriculum and throughout the year, but always in a manner that is relevant, natural and meaningful.
To help teachers, we provide example resources that they can use or adapt to support the development of their own materials. To view all available example resources, visit Our Resources.
Can I read the school resources?
Yes. As with all areas of the curriculum, your child’s school should be able to share the content being taught with you. As this is individual to each school, you should contact the school directly. Schools want to support parents and carers being involved in their child’s learning.
We also create example resources that teachers can use and these are all publicly available. To view all available example resources, visit Our Resources.
Please be aware that we do not create or publish Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood resources. RSHP would ordinarily sit within the Health and Wellbeing curriculum area, with resources created and published by rshp.scot in collaboration with NHS Health Boards and specialists.
My child is being bullied, what can I do?
Bullying of young people because they are LGBT, are thought to be LGBT by others, or have LGBT family members is just as serious as any other kind of bullying. Young people experiencing bullying of any kind need support and to know their rights. You can arrange a meeting with your child’s school to discuss what actions school staff will be taking to address the situation. It is important that your voice and your child’s voice are heard and respected in these discussions.
Scotland’s anti-bullying service RespectMe has information for young people, parents and carers about prejudice-based bullying.
I think my child is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. How can I support them?
Many LGBT young people can find it difficult to tell their parents and carers about their identity because they are worried about the reaction they may receive. To support your child without putting pressure on them, it can be helpful to speak positively about an LGBT topic with them. This can reassure them that you love and support them. Perhaps you could use this as a conversation starter:
“Have you learned about any LGBT people or history at school yet? I think it’s good that this is happening now so that LGBT young people know that it is okay to be themselves.”
There are also support services available for parents and carers. Switchboard is a telephone helpline and they can provide support and advice based on your own circumstances.
The Proud Trust also has a range of resources for parents and carers related to LGBT identity, coming out, and a live chat option for answers to your questions.
How can I help my child’s school to do this?
We have a page on how you can get involved with LGBT Inclusive Education and help your child’s school to get started. Visit Get Involved for more information.
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