Brighton & Hove City Council: Promoting lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in schools

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Brighton & Hove City Council: Promoting lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in schools[1]

When the public sector equality duty was first announced, Brighton & Hove City Council set up a steering group with representatives from a number of schools in the area to produce a range of resources to help schools comply with the duty. This included a model equality policy, information on setting equality objectives and a toolkit for assessing the impact of practices and procedures on different protected groups. See Appendices 1, 2 and 3[2]. The council also ran a number of workshops with schools about how to ensure compliance, featuring case studies about schools that were already taking action that would demonstrate compliance with the duty, such as tackling homophobic bullying.

Following the introduction of the duty, the council began to monitor schools’ compliance with it. This has identified a number of examples of good practice. These include a primary school that has set an equality objective to involve under-represented groups more in all school groups and activities – to be evidenced by, amongst other things, increased participation of lesbian, gay and bisexual parents in the school governing body, in the PTA and as volunteers on parent trips. Other primary schools have set objectives to promote positive images which reflect the diversity of the school and community in assemblies, books, publications and learning materials.

Where the council has identified that schools are performing poorly in relation to the duty, they have held one-to-one meetings with school staff to better explain the purpose of the duty and to outline that by better knowing their school community, schools will be better placed to meet pupils’ needs. This has given the council additional leverage to promote work to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.

 


[1] Review of the public sector equality duty, Call for evidence Stonewall response [April 2013]