County is in top five for tackling homophobic bullying in schools

Political News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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Cambridgeshire County Council is in the top 5 authorities nationally for the way it tackles homophobic bullying in schools.

The authority was placed at number five in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2013. Stonewall works for equality and justice for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Cambridgeshire has been a member of Stonewall’s Education Champions Programme since it started in 2008. As part of the programme, local authorities work with Stonewall to establish ways of tackling homophobic bullying

Cambridgeshire’s submission for the award was led by CREDS (Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service) in partnership with SexYOUality – a Cambridgeshire charity for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – a partnership identified as a particular strength by Stonewall.

They were required to submit evidence of the work they had done with schools and youth groups on training and educating young people to tackle and overcome homophobic behaviour.

Shirley Primary School and Hills Road Sixth Form College have both joined Stonewall’s Schools Champions programme.

Cllr David Harty, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Education and Learning said: “Cambridgeshire County Council regards the prevention and tackling of homophobic bullying to be an essential component of our work with children and young people. We are committed to making every school in the county a safe place for all pupils to learn – irrespective of their sexuality.

“We passionately believe that with education, dedication and determination, we can create a safe and inclusive learning environment for all young people.”

Wes Streeting, Stonewall Head of Education added: “Cambridgeshire County Council deserves enormous congratulations on securing a top 10 place in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index. Homophobic bullying has a detrimental impact on the attendance, achievement and life chances of young people, so it’s fantastic to see the work of Cambridgeshire County Council highlighted through the Index to inspire others to take action to make schools a safe and supportive place to help all young people to achieve their potential.”