LGBT Youth Scotland have launched a new guide for schools and teachers to provide better support for trans young people.
The easy-to-follow guide called ‘Supporting Transgender Young People in Education’ has been developed with the Scottish Trans Alliance and has been endorsed by more than half of Scotland’s local authorities.
The resource aims to help primary and secondary education staff support children and young people and uses the experiences of young people and teachers.
Emily (19) is one of the young ambassadors involved in developing the guidance and explains how teachers can be key to feeling confident enough to come out.
“I only felt able to come out in school because there was a teacher who openly stated they supported the trans community. They helped me through so much and supported my coming out in the school. The rest of the staff were often insensitive and not willing to support me when I needed it. It was a difficult experience even with one teacher understanding, but it would have been a whole lot worse if I had no-one; I consider myself lucky to have had that one person I could go to.”
Funded by the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit, the new guidance could be set to help influence the support available in schools in wide swathes of the country, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Highland and Aberdeen.
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said:
“I’ve been struck personally by the extend to which transgender young people have to be their own advocates growing up and coming out as trans at school. That’s why we’ve developed this guidance; we want to assist in creating a positive school ethos, where all young people, including trans young people, can benefit from respectful relationships and achieve their full potential.”
The series of lesson ideas and transgender resources has been developed with input direct from trans young people, who feature throughout the guidance. The programme has been piloted with teachers in a number of locations around the country.
James Morton, Manager at Scottish Trans, said:
“This guide provides a comprehensive starting point for schools which want to know how best to support their students and create a learning environment that is truly inclusive of trans people.”
The new resource has been endorsed by:
Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Angus Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Dundee City Council, East Ayrshire Council, East Lothian Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Glasgow City Council, Highland Council, Midlothian Council, North Ayrshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Orkney Islands Council, South Ayrshire Council and West Lothian Council.