Hertfordshire in top five for tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools

Herts County Council has been ranked fifth in Stonewall's Education Equality Index.

Herts County Council has been ranked fifth in Stonewall's Education Equality Index. - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire has been ranked in the top five of local authorities for celebrating difference and tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools in a report released this week.

The Education Equality Index – by LGBT rights charity Stonewall – is a comprehensive exercise for local authorities up and down the country to showcase how well they are celebrating difference and supporting LGBT young people in the community.

Herts topped the list last year, and this time were ranked joint-fifth out of the 39 authorities which took part.

Herts for Learning was also recognised in the report as the provider of school improvement services and has a contract with the council to deliver some of its statutory education functions.

The report said: “Herts for Learning/Hertfordshire County Council provide schools with an extensive range of training opportunities and online resources to prevent and tackle homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

“The safeguarding of LGBT young people is a key focus in all of their LGBT, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination training.”

This year Herts schools have been offered a calendar of pupil workshops addressing equality and diversity issues. They also held a relationships and sexuality education summit, which included sessions on making RSE LGBT inclusive.

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Local authorities put themselves forward for inclusion into the index to see how they rate in addressing bullying and ensuring a safe learning environment for all young people in schools. The index is in it’s sixth year and only the top 10 are declared in the report by Stonewall.

Councillor Terry Douris, the county council’s cabinet member for education, libraries and localism, said: “We are delighted that the excellent work carried out by Hertfordshire County Council and Herts for Learning has been recognised by Stonewall.

“Bullying in all its forms cannot be tolerated and we work really hard across the board to tackle bullying of all types. There is still much to achieve but we are very pleased to be recognised as one of the best local authorities for this kind of work in the country.”

To read the report in full go to Stonewall’s website.