The National Parent Forum Scotland (NPFS) has announced it’s support for LGBT inclusive lessons in Scottish schools.

The Forum – which works with national and local government to improve the educational experiences of young people – has endorsed the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) Campaign, which is lobbying for new legislation to ensure schools are proactive in tackling discrimination and prejudice-based bullying.

The campaign published a report last year which found that 90 per cent of LGBT young people experience homophobia at school, while 27 per cent reported that they had attempted suicide due to being bullied.

Speaking this week, NPFS Chair Joanna Murphy said: “The NPFS believes that an education system that is inclusive and free of prejudice is a right that every single pupil should enjoy – and so we are pleased to announce that we are supporting the TIE Campaign, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in our schools.

“The NPFS is part of the Scottish Government’s LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group with TIE and we are echoing the voice of parents who want to tackle prejudice-based bullying in our schools. We owe it to our young people to have an open and frank discussion around these issues in our schools, and we hope that this also encourages parents and parent councils to continue this discussion.”

The Forum joins several organisations in supporting TIE, including Scouts Scotland and the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) – the country’s largest teachers’ trade union, which recently affiliated to the campaign.

In response, Liam Stevenson – Co-Founder of TIE – said: “We are delighted that the NPFS have backed our campaign – they send a strong message in support of equality and inclusion in our schools in doing so.”

“As a parent myself, I know that we can play a crucial role in tackling prejudicial behaviours amongst young people and, throughout our work, we have spoken to many parents who wish to see an end to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in our schools. Indeed, most parents are surprised that – in 2017 – an education which is inclusive of diverse relationships, family types and identities is not already in place.”

“The endorsement of the NPFS further solidifies parental support. We look forward to continuing to work with the NPFS in order to ensure that all schools are LGBT-inclusive.”

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