Denny High has become the first school in the Falkirk Council area – and Forth Valley – to be recognised for its commitment to LGBT rights.
The school is set to receive the LGBT Youth Scotland's Bronze Charter Mark following months of working through the award standards while promoting equality and diversity to the whole school community.
National research shows that up to 77% of LGBT pupils in Scotland experience homophobic bullying in school which can have severe consequences for pupils’ health, wellbeing and achievement both in school and later life.
During a six month period, a number of activities and events took place to raise LGBT awareness throughout the school, including:
- A weekly Diversity group was set up to provide a safe space for LGBT-identifying pupils and pupils who support LGBT equality in the school
- Training sessions for staff to ensure they had knowledge and confidence to discuss LGBT issues
- Display boards celebrating famous LGBT people
- A bake sale was held during LGBT History month
- Staff and pupils wore rainbow lanyards and football-boot laces to promote diversity
Councillor Adanna McCue, spokesperson for Education, said: "The award is a great way for all our pupils and teachers to work together to create a positive and inclusive learning environment. The Charter Mark is a positive step to ensure that all pupils have the best chance to feel safe and succeed throughout their education.
“We are especially proud that Denny High is the first school in the Forth Valley area to achieve this award, and we hope other high schools throughout the Falkirk Council area will take part in the Charter Mark in the future."
The award will be presented to the school at a ceremony on Friday 23rd March at 9am.
The school’s Rector, Stephen Miller, said: “We are immensely proud that our work on LGBT issues has been recognised in this way. The quality of relationships lies at the heart of every aspect of the life of a school community. We have demonstrated in a very clear way that each pupil has a unique value and that no-one should be subject to any factor as a definition of who they are as a person.”
Denny High has already started working on achieving the Silver Charter Mark which means the school will show evidence of LGBT inclusion across different areas of the curriculum, provide LGBT inclusive books in the school library and revise policies to meet the standards set out in the Equality Act (2010).
The LGBT Youth Scotland’s School Charter awards were set up to help schools look at their policy and practice in the context of LGBT diversity. It sends a positive message to LGBT pupils that they are safe, valued and included in their school community.