Unison Scotland first Scottish trade union to back LGBTI+ education

Tie campaigners donate PS1000 to teacher training

UNISON SCOTLAND has voted unanimously to support the campaign to bring LGBTI+ inclusive education into Scotland's schools.

The Scottish Unison council conference on 6 February in Glasgow's Marriott hotel pledged their support after hearing a presentation from Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign co-founder Jordan Daly on the importance of teacher training to ensure that pupils are taught about a range of human sexualities in school.

Unison donated PS1,000 to Tie, which the campaign wants to use to fund teacher training.

Daly also called in his talk for the Scottish Government to take leadership on creating a more inclusive education for LGBTI+ youth. The calls come after the Scottish Parliament's petitions committee closed the Tie campaigns petition for a statutory change to Scottish education to introduce the education of LGBTI+ issues into the Scottish curriculum on technical grounds.

"The money that has been donated will be put to good use - already we are in discussion with schools about directly funding teacher training." Tie spokesperson

The campaign is continuing to gain strength with new support from the SNP's youth and student organisations and has shifted its focus onto campaigning for teacher training and ensuring that all schools have a specified funding arrangement to train their staff to teach an LGBTI+ inclusive education.

Scottish Convenor of Unison Lilian Mercer said: "Inclusive education can help tackle LGBT-phobia and create a more safe learning environment for all pupils. Equality in education can only be achieved when all educational staff are trained in these matters, and that is why we have given our support to the Tie (Time for Inclusive Education) campaign, with a PS1,000 donation and a commitment to assist them in future."

Jordan Daly addressing the Unison Scotland council conference

Jordan

A Tie spokesperson said: "We are thrilled that Unison have backed our campaign. Their support will allow us to continue building pressure and push for the change that we need in our schools. The money that has been donated will be put to good use - already we are in discussion with schools about directly funding teacher training."

The Tie campaign was launched in June 2015 to tackle the isolation and abuse suffered by LGBTI+ youth in Scottish schools. Statistics and testimony compiled by the campaign and by Stonewall Scotland show that more than half of LGBTI+ youth suffer bullying and one in four have attempted suicide.

The campaign already has support from the SNP Trade Union group and Unite tanker drivers . It hopes to gain the support of the STUC later in the year.

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