Equality award for council

equality index

equality indexWe have been named as Britain’s best new entrant authority tackling anti-gay bullying in schools by Stonewall

Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2015, lists the Top 10 local authorities in Britain and detailing the new entrants and most improved.

The Index measures practice and policy at all of the participating local authorities. 47 local authorities submitted entries to the 2015 Index, the most competitive to date.

We have developed a programme for celebrating diversity and challenging prejudice. This includes training in schools which aims to help staff promote tolerance and challenge homophobia. The programme also aims to ensure that all children and young people feel confident and self-assured about their own identity, including their sexual orientation. So far over 400 school staff have received training

The LGBT young people’s group ‘The Yorkshire Mixtures’ has been closely involved with some of this work, helping to set priorities and contributing to training sessions. One member spoke at a national conference.

An audit and toolkit has been developed by partners Pennine Learning and is available to all Kirklees schools. This helps them to prioritise action on challenging homophobia and to develop fully welcoming and inclusive learning communities.

The Teachers’ Report 2014 found that over 90 per cent of primary school staff – and eight in ten secondary school teachers – say they haven’t received specific training on how to tackle homophobic bullying.

Cllr Sheard, Leader of Kirklees Council said:

“As a council one of our priorities is that children get the best start in life and grow to be happy, healthy and successful individuals regardless of race, religion, disability or sexuality.

“We want Kirklees to be a place where young people and adults are able to express themselves and their individuality in a positive way.

“I am pleased that we have been ranked highly in the index, it is testament to the hard work of our staff and young people involved in the programme, and to the commitment of the schools who have taken up the training and support on offer.

“This is part of our work to ensure young people across Kirklees are rounded, resilient and ready for the next stage in their lives.”

Cllr Erin Hall, Cabinet member for Family Support and Child Protection, said:

“There have been some great strides towards equality locally, nationally and internationally, but there is still work to be done. So it’s fantastic to hear that we’re making progress like this in Kirklees. Often, discrimination of all kinds comes from fear and a lack of mutual understanding, so I can’t overstate the importance of programmes like this.”

Sarah Rose, Senior Account Manager, Stonewall said :

“We have seen phenomenal work from all of those local authorities that have participated in this year’s Education Equality Index – in particular our award winners. We’d like to extend huge congratulations to Kirklees Council for all of its achievements in continuing to fight against bullying and discrimination.”

Read the Education Equality Index 2015


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