The Scottish are taking matters into their own hands. The TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) campaign has launched a crowd-funding appeal today, to raise money to send Scottish schools teachers on training courses that will allow them to tackle homophobia within their schools.
Since the campaign’s launch last June, TIE campaigners have continually called for inclusive LGBT+ education to be commonplace across all schools in Scotland, and have highlighted teacher training as a key method in achieving this.
Last month the Scottish Parliament rejected a call to include LGBTI+ education in Scottish schools.
Figures show that 1 in 4 LGBT+ youth in Scotland’s schools have attempted suicide and over half are deliberately and regularly self harming as a result of bullying. Despite this, a cross party parliamentary committee recently closed a petition for LGBT+ education in schools that had been submitted by TIE.
Co-founder Jordan Daly said:
“As a result of budget cuts, most schools do not have the funding available to send their teachers on the LGBT+ inclusive training programmes that are on offer. The government’s current strategy to tackle LGBT-phobia within schools does not go far enough, and that is why we are now directly stepping in to raise as much money as we can to ensure that teachers are being properly trained. We are appealing to anyone who believes in equality to back this important initiative.”
Campaigners have set a minimum target of £5000, which will allow them to train a considerable number of school teachers from across the country by sending them to Stonewall Scotland’s Train the Trainer course.
The cost of training one teacher is £120, with attendees being trained to return to their establishments as trainers for other staff.
Secondary school teacher and TIE campaigner, John Naples-Campbell (34), stated: “Some staff lack training and awareness of the resources available in order to support their pupils. Funding this training will ensure that more staff delivering the curriculum will have access to these resources, in order to provide a secure, nurturing and engaging learning environment fit for the twenty first century.”
TIE has continued to attract support, with notable backers including rugby referee Nigel Owens and MSPs Patrick Harvie and Jean Urquhart.
Most recently, public sector trade union UNISON voted unanimously to back the campaign at it’s Scottish council conference on the 6th February. Delegates pledged their continued support, and the council gave a £1000 donation – which is already being used to pay for some teachers to attend upcoming training courses.
Co-founder Liam Stevenson (37) commented:
“We quickly identified that teacher training was going to be a key part of any strategy to tackle issues of LGBT-phobia within our schools and, already, with a small amount of funding and in less than a week – we have three teachers attending the Train the Trainer programme in March. We are currently in talks with more schools, and with the support of the public via our crowd funder, we can do much more.”
You can pledge a donation to TIE and help them to train school teachers at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/tiecampaign