Wednesday 22 July 2015

SHEFFIELD has turned its back on prejudice and bullying in schools and has been singled out for national praise as a result.

Sheffield City Council has for the fifth year running been voted in the top ten of the Stonewall Education Equality Index 2015.

In particular the council was praised for the work it does around mental health and social support being provided to vulnerable groups, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students.

Every two years Sheffield City Council surveys schools to evaluate their progress in tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and these evaluations inform the council’s policies and practices.

This year the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service commissioned a project to provide mental health and social support to vulnerable groups, including LGBT young people.

Alongside this, Fruitbowl – Sheffield’s LGBT youth group – also provides one-to-one support for young people.

Sheffield has built a relationship with a local Stonewall Diversity Champion which hosted a Stonewall-led primary teacher training focussed on key issues effecting LGBT young people.

Now the council has begun developing city-wide guidance on supporting trans children and young people.

Figures released just a few years ago showed nationally that many LGBT youngsters had faced bullying and for some this had a direct impact on achievement at school and in some extreme cases it even led to suicides.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “No one should face any form of bullying just because of whom they are, it is simply not acceptable. That is why we are working closely with our schools to end this. We recognise that the task to eradicate prejudice in still enormous but it is one which we are firmly committed to as a council.

“That is why I am pleased we have once again been singled out for recognition nationally for the wonderful things we are doing to help educate our children about why prejudice is wrong. There should be no barriers for people accessing education and it is our priority to make sure schools are a place where children and young people want to go to so they can all achieve their full potential.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Emma Hollingworth, Communications, on 0114 205 3546 or 07710 737905. Email emma.hollingworth@sheffield.gov.uk

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