Council support for young LGBTI receives national recognition
29th June 2017
Highland Council is delighted and honoured to have been announced as the ‘Most Improved Local Education Authority' and top performing Council in Scotland in Stonewall's seventh annual Education Equality Index.
This extremely welcome announcement was made at Stonewall's Education for All conference held yesterday (28 June) at the University of Birmingham.
The Index is a comprehensive benchmarking exercise for local authorities from across the country, showcasing how well they are celebrating difference and tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools and supporting LGBT young people in their local communities.
This year, 39 local authorities from England, Scotland and Wales took part and The Highland Council was awarded ‘most improved local authority’.
Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of Highland Council’s People Committee, warmly welcomed the Stonewall award for Highland Council, he said: "This is fantastic news for our young people that we are making Highland a better place to live and learn in.
"I am very pleased to see that Stonewall’s 2017 School Report highlights some positive statistics as well as clear next steps in moving forward. Highland Council’s Equality and Diversity Improvement Group and LGBTI+ sub-group will continue to work next year to support children and young people, their families, our workforce and our communities across Highland. Congratulations to all our staff, schools and partners who thoroughly deserve this accolade."
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall presented the award at the conference to James Cook, Highland Council’s Project Co-ordinator - Raising Attainment in Literacy, and Cath King, Highland Council’s former Health Improvement Policy Manager, who through her role was a catalyst of Highland’s collaboration with Stonewell’s Equality Education Index in 2015.
Ruth Hunt said: "The Council’s LGBTI+ sub group of the Equality and Diversity Improvement Group has wide representation from schools, local authority administrations, youth services, Police Scotland, LGBT groups and third sector agencies. That partnership approach has allowed for the key individuals in services around children and young people to support LGBTI education and actively prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
She added: “That shares Stonewall’s vision of getting more people around a table a greater multi-agency approach to this work and trying to cut some of those corners and making sure that we have a joined up approach. I am very pleased to present the award to The Highland Council. Well done."
Stonewall’s 2017 School Report can viewed at: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/school-report-2017
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The Highland Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes for a growing population with a pledge in its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 to approve 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday 8 November) had the opportunity to discuss the Housing Investment Plan for 2018-2023 and to reaffirm the council's commitment to deliver new homes in the Highlands.
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