Leicestershire County Council has been named as one of the best local authorities for tackling anti-LGBT bullying and celebrating difference in its schools.
Our work has been acknowledged by Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity. It has ranked at third in Britain in this year’s Education Equality Index – it’s highest ranking to date.
The Index is Britain’s definitive auditing tool for local authorities to benchmark their success in tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in local schools and supporting LGBT young people in their local communities.
Ivan Ould Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families believes the high position in this year’s ranking is a sign of the success of the hard work put in by the anti-bullying team.
To achieve third place in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the work the anti-bullying team are doing to promote diversity and equality in our county schools.
“Projects include the launch of a trans toolkit to enable and support our schools to develop their approach to trans inclusion and support. The anti-bullying team have also been piloting The ‘No Outsiders’ framework, alongside Leicester City Council colleagues. This approach uses age appropriate picture books to teach the Equality Act (2010) in primary schools
“The team work tirelessly throughout the year to promote equality in schools across the county, actively taking part in anti-bullying week and supporting schools to achieve the Beyond Bullying Award.Person:Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet member for children and families
This year’s Index received 28 submissions from across England, Scotland and Wales.
Findings from Stonewall’s 2017 School Report underline why this work is so important - the report found that nearly half (45 per cent) of LGBT pupils – including 64 per cent of trans students – are bullied for being LGBT in Britain’s schools, while two in five LGBT pupils (40 per cent) are never taught anything about lesbian, gay, bi and trans issues at school.
Leicestershire County Council and all the local authorities who have ranked in the top 10 of this year’s Education Equality Index are undertaking inspiring work to support LGBT young people in their local communities and leading the way on tackling anti-LGBT bullying.
‘Stonewall was set up 30 years ago to fight against the introduction of Section 28 – a piece of legislation that allowed bullying to flourish as it effectively banned teachers from talking about same-sex relationships or LGBT issues. The fantastic work of the top-ranking entrants show just how far we’ve come toward ensuring all young people feel free to be themselves, without fear of exclusion or bullying.
‘We know that LGBT young people continue to face challenges in Britain’s schools, but with so many local authorities demonstrating such a strong commitment to celebrating difference and supporting LGBT young people, we are one step closer to creating a world where all young people are welcomed and accepted without exception.Person:Sarah Rose, Senior Children and Young People Programmes Manager at Stonewall
More on our work to tackle bullying is here
The news follows Stonewall's earlier Employer Equality Index in which the authority featured in the top 100 for the 10th year in a row, moving up in the ranking this year to feature in the top five councils. This was the most competitive Index to date, with 445 employers entering this year increasing the competition for top 100.
Notes to Editors
Top 10 ranking local authorities in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2019:
=1. North Yorkshire County Council
=1. Oxfordshire County Council
=3. Herts for Learning/Hertfordshire County Council
=3. Leicestershire County Council
5. Northumberland County Council
6. Sheffield City Council
7. Kirklees Council
8. The Highland Council
9. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
10. Birmingham City Council
Stonewall is Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, working to create a world where every single person can be accepted without exception.
It was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who wanted to break down barriers to equality. Stonewall continues to campaign and lobby government to change laws to ensure everyone, everywhere, is free to be themselves.
Stonewall works in partnership with a growing network of more than 760 organisations, more than 40 local authorities and over 1,500 schools, to help create real change for the better. It campaigns to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in communities, and empowers LGBT people and their allies to be role models wherever they live, work, study, shop, socialise or pray.