It’s not every day we witness real, tangible change taking place in society, so this week marks an extremely important one as Scotland take charge to become the first country in the world to add LGBTQ+ education to their school curriculum.
This evolution of the syllabus will teach LGBTQ+ history and identity, as well as the struggle for equality of marginalised groups.
Lessons will also tackle homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and the history of LGBTQ+ movements over the years.
The new curriculum will be in place from 2021; seven years after same-sex marriage was legalised in Scotland, England, and Wales – with Northern Ireland following in 2020.
This significant landmark follows the government’s mandatory introduction of RSE [relationships and sex education] nationwide from September.
Despite the objective of school being to equip students with the life skills to look after themselves in the outside world, the education system has long been playing catch-up.
Even in 2020, traditional subjects such as maths, geography, and science continue to take precedence over teaching young people how to navigate their mental health, how to manage their finances, and how to assert themselves or deliver during public speaking.
Speaking about Scotland’s revolutionary approach, Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney said: “Scotland is one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] equality.
“I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.”
The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign said this is a “monumental victory” for the work they have done calling to end the destructive legacy of section 28; legislation from 1988 that banned local authorities in the UK from ‘promoting’ homosexuality, which was eventually repealed in Scotland 2001 and in the rest of the UK in 2003.
Co-founder Jordan Daly said: “This is a historic moment for our country. The implementation of LGBTI inclusive education across all state schools is a world first.
“In a time of global uncertainty, this sends a strong and clear message to LGBTI young people that they are valued here in Scotland.”
Over at Uspire, we recently spoke to trans activist Jules Guaitamacchi about how to stand in solidarity with marginalised groups, which you can read here: Trans Allyship.