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Victory for campaigners after “historic” move to teach same sex education

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​SNP conference rubber stamps same sex education in Scotland's schools

Campaigners have welcomed the “historic” move by the SNP to give support to the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in Scottish schools at the party’s conference in Aberdeen.

A resolution calling on the Scottish Government to establish a working group with the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign passed unanimously after it was introduced by the SNP’s youth wing.

The move means that TIE’s proposals – including teacher training, curricular guidance and new legislation on the issue – are likely to be taken forward after the Scottish Government forms the working group with campaigners.

Speaking during the debate, Rhiannon Spear of SNP Youth said: "This may seem like a small change to us, but this can be life or death for young people. By tackling these important issues, we will radically improve the educational experience of many in Scottish schools.

"The attainment gap cannot be fully closed until LGBTI learners are given an inclusive environment in which to learn. LGBTI young people in Scotland’s schools are now looking at us for real action that will radically change their lives for the better.”

The resolution was backed by senior party politicians including Christina McKelvie, Jenny Gilruth and Derek Mackay.

It comes just weeks after the Scottish Parliament became the first in the world to indicate majority support for LGBT inclusive education, after over half of all MSPs signed TIE’s campaign pledge and committed their support to the group’s proposals.

A TIE spokesperson said: “We are delighted that, for the second year in a row, the SNP membership have supported our campaign.

"This year, they have gone further by calling on the Scottish Government to form a working group with our involvement, in order to realise the five proposals in our campaign pledge – which already has the support of a majority of parliamentarians.

"We welcome this move – indeed, we requested the creation of a working group and so we now look forward to working alongside the Scottish Government, and others, in order to finally see the implementation of our proposals for LGBTI-inclusive education in all schools.

"The passing of this motion marks a historic step forward for all LGBTI young people across the country, who have been learning under the shadow of Section 28 for too long.”

TIE published a report recently which found that nine in ten LGBT Scots experience homophobia while at school, and 27% reported that they had attempted suicide once due to being bullied.