Thank you for contacting me about the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) relationships in Scottish Schools. I believe all LGBTI people should feel welcomed and safe at school so they can reach their full potential.
While the Scottish Government states it is committed to ensuring all children and young people receive high quality relationships, sexual health and parenthood education (RSHP), a survey by HIV Scotland in 2018 found that 16 per cent of pupils reported receiving sexual health lessons less than a few times a year. In addition, 41 per cent of pupils who took part in the survey did not know where to go for sexual health services.
I believe the teaching of sex education is important to help promote healthy adult relationships, and its teaching should be relevant to all young people. Schools should ensure that young people, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity, feel that RSHP education is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs.
My colleagues in the Scottish Parliament and I support the improvement of the education experience for LGBTI young people. The final report of the LGBTI inclusive education working group was published by the Scottish Government in 2018 and we are told that the report’s recommendations will be in place by the end of the parliamentary session, although a timetable has yet to be seen. When implementing the recommendations of the report, the Scottish Government must ensure there is consistency in the classroom across all local authorities, and the approach is not led just by individual teachers and head teachers who are passionate about the cause.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. It is important discrimination against LGBTI people becomes a thing of the past.
Last updated January 2020