You may have heard the excellent news that Bristol City Council came 7th place in this year’s Stonewall Education Equality Index. This is a fantastic recognition of all the hard work that has taken place this year, driven forward by Bristol City Council with invaluable contributions key partner colleagues such as Bristol LGBT Education Workers.
The following is an extract from a letter of thanks to the steering group of the Education Champions programme which inclues Bristol LGBT Education Workers. CYPS refers to Bristol City Council Children and Young People’s Services.
As we embark upon our second year of the Stonewall Education
Champions programme, it feels like an ideal moment to reflect on our
achievements over the last year:
- A time-limited cross-Council & inter-agency stakeholder working
group was set up to drive and support LGB equality development work within
CYPS and local schools;
- Correspondence and resource packs have been sent to all Bristolschools to
encourage and support them in developing their work on LGBT History month;
- There is increased awareness in schools of Bristol CYPS reporting
and recording harassment procedures (including Homophobic incidents).
Reporting harassment guidance is now online and will be updated following
the issue of updated duties for schools in the Equality Act 2010. A
briefing session for schools was held in May on reporting harassment and
the new equality duty – this was attended by 10 schools;
- LGB issues in relation to anti-bullying have now been embedded into
mainstream CYPS strategies and policies – this is now a core priority
Children’s and Young Peoples Plan;
- Schemes of work have been sent out to all secondary schools to
enable and support them to include sexual orientation and lesbian, gay and
bisexual issues within the curriculum, including issues of sexuality,
sexual orientation and diversity in relationships. The scheme of work
‘Lifelines’ is used in primary schools and includes a lesson on homophobia
stereotypes, relationships and diversity of same- sex parents.
- There was very positive feedback from schools and young people following
the Sir Ian Mckellan visit. As a result of this visit, a CYPS Stonewall
Education Young People’s group has been established with 20 students from Fairfield School,
and Brunel Academy. The aim of this group is
for the young people to be trained by Stonewall and CYPS staff to empower
them to deliver training and/or steer initiatives with young people and
schools. This work is being progressed with the support of Stonewall.
- We are in the process of creating an equality and community
cohesion web site for schools to aid them in becoming more self servicing
in relation to their equalities and diversity policies and practices. This
website will include all elements of work on LGBT.
- We are continuing to work with other public, voluntary and the
private sector services to tackle bullying and harassment in local
schools. The CYPS Equalities and Community Cohesion Manager is a
representative on the Bristol Strategic Partnership Against Hate Crime and
Bristol’s Tension Monitoring Group. CYPS contributes schools data on homophobic incidents to a shared multi-agency database.
Congratulations to everyone involved – every small effort has helped us achieve this! And there is still more to be done!.. more information at our next meeting and on this blog soon.