Oxfordshire among best councils for tackling anti-LGBT bullying
Oxfordshire County Council has been named as one of the best in the country for tackling anti-LGBT bullying in schools.
Stonewall, Britain’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, listed the council in third place in its Education Equality index 2017, which rates local areas for combating this form of bullying and celebrating difference in schools.
The council, which made sixth place in last year’s Index, is a member of Stonewall’s Education Champions Programme and has developed nationally recognised strategies to address anti-LGBT bullying, providing both resources and guidance to school staff.
Sarah Rose, Senior Account Manager at Stonewall, said: “Oxfordshire County council has once again made huge progress. It has a fantastic array of online resources available providing vital support and guidance to schools and young people across the area.”
An innovative drama project developed as part of Oxfordshire’s anti-bullying strategy is also being staged today (Wednesday 28 June) at the Stonewall Education For All conference in Birmingham.
Led by staff and pupils at The Warriner School in Bloxham, Project Q is a 20-minute play using physical theatre and dialogue taken directly from interviews with young people about their experiences relating to gender, sexuality and how these are treated by their peers and adults.
The drama, which has been performed to young people and adults across the county, aims to challenge its audience to think about what school would be like to ‘come out’ in. It also features a question and answer session with the cast.
Students from The Warriner School perform Project Q
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Hilary Hibbert-Biles said: “We’re delighted to be ranked once again among the country’s very best local authorities for tackling this issue. Any young person can experience homophobic, bi-phobic or transphobic bullying, and like all forms of bullying it should never be allowed to go unchallenged.”
Cabinet Member for Children and Families Services Steve Harrod added: “We are very proud of the partnership work we are doing with schools and other agencies including Thames Valley Police, Health, and youth groups both to prevent bullying and to provide support for LGBT children and young people.”
Find out more
Now in its seventh year, the Stonewall Equality Index remains a vital tool for local authorities to benchmark their success in making local schools inclusive of LGBT issues and young people, measuring practice and policy at all the participating local authorities.
For more information, help and advice about all forms of bullying, visit the council’s anti-bullying web pages