Council urged to ‘support and encourage’ local schools in wake of Birmingham LGBT+ protests

Photograph: Ludovic Bertron.

Hackney Council has been called upon to provide “support and encouragement” to schools as they deliver sex education which meets the needs of all pupils, regardless of gender or sexuality.

A list of recommendations, designed to inform a strategic approach in how to support LGBT+ children and young people, has been published online by the borough’s children and young people scrutiny committee.

It comes a week after a High Court judge criticised people protesting against the teaching of LGBT+ relationship education in a Birmingham primary school.

The recommendations include a local repository for LGBT+ school policies and protocols to be set up by Hackney Learning Trust.

The scrutiny commission said: “The Department of Education has recently published new guidance for sex and relationship education which has reminded schools of the their duties under the Equalities Act 2010 and to ensure that sex and relationship education is relevant to all its pupils, including those from protected characteristics.

“In light of recent events elsewhere across the country however, it is apparent that schools may require additional support and encouragement to enable them to deliver positive and inclusive sex and relationship education which meets the needs of all their pupils, irrespective of their identified gender or sexuality.”

The commission went on to praise existing support for LGBT+ children in the borough, which includes forums run by Hackney Learning Trust, the awarding of a national equalities award to New Regent’s College for its programme to tackle homophobia, and Project Indigo, a youth group and counselling service.

However, the commission highlighted that supportive measures for young LGBT+ people were “often dependent on the positive and proactive approaches of individual LGBT+ teachers or students themselves,” and called for more effective and widespread support to be put in place.

Hackney Council was approached for comment.