Sheffield City Council has received national recognition for the seventh year in a row for its work to tackle homophobic bullying throughout the city.
Gay equality charity Stonewall has positioned the council at number nine in the Education Equality Index 2017, published last week. The Index lists the Top 10 local authorities in Britain.
Stonewall recognised the work the council has been carrying out with its key partners including the Sheena Amos Youth Trust (SAYiT), Learn Sheffield, and South Yorkshire Police, to make sure Sheffield is a welcoming place to live for people from the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said:
“I am thrilled Sheffield has been recognised in the Stonewall Top 10 again. This helps send out a strong message – that homophobic bullying is not welcome in Sheffield or in any of our schools.
“This is a great example of successful partnership working between our schools, local charities and key partners, well done to all.
“I passionately believe no one has the right to bully anyone else and especially not over their sexuality. I am proud Sheffield has been named as one of the best for tackling this hurtful, intimidating and totally unnecessary behaviour. Homophobic bullying has a profound effect on young people’s lives and it must be stamped out.”
Steve Slack, Chief Executive of SAYiT said: “SAYiT is a charity which has been supporting young LGBT+ people in Sheffield for almost 20 years. Being in the top ten of the index is a great honour and hugely important to us. “We are delighted to work with Sheffield City Council, Stonewall and other partners in the pursuit of a fairer, diverse and more accepting society. We have come a long way in the past decades in terms of LGBT+ rights but there is still more we need to do.
“Many young LGBT+ people still face challenges associated with homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia. We may have won many rights but these rights can also be taken from us.”
Stonewall’s Education Equality Index measures practice and policy at all of the participating local authorities.
The 2015 Stonewall Top 10 local authorities list was announced at the Stonewall Education for All Conference yesterday at the University of Birmingham.
Sheffield City Council has been a Stonewall Education Champion since 2009. In 2011 Stonewall launched its Equality Index and Sheffield City Council is one of only three local authorities which has consistently been in its Top 10 listing.