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UK government expands program aimed at combatting homophobia in schools

UK government expands program aimed at combatting homophobia in schools

Penny Mordaunt

The UK government has pledged over £1 million towards combatting homophobic bullying in schools.

The initiative aims to train teachers in ways to spot early signs of bullying, and appropriate interventions to take.

This will expand on 1,200 schools which have already undergone the education and training program.

The move is part of a government £2.6 million initiative ‘to provide resources to support teachers in delivering lessons on LGBT issues to ensure all pupils feel accepted and included,’ the government said in a statement.

£1 million of the funds will go towards providing adequate healthcare for LGBTI people, with the additional £600,000 being put towards LGBTI community groups in the UK.

LGBTI advisory panel

‘Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, to love who they love, and to live their lives without judgement or fear,’ said the women and equalities minister, Penny Mourdant.

‘That’s why this government is stepping up its work to tackle bullying in schools, to protect more children and to stop hatred from festering and growing into discrimination in adulthood.

‘The aim of our Action Plan is that everyone can live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination,’ she added.

Mourdant also said that an LGBTI panel would be formed to advise the government on forming policy, and provide insights into the experiences of LGBTI people living in Britain.

LGBTI rights groups Stonewall, the LGBT Foundation and the LGBT Consortium, have already been confirmed for three spots on the panel, with an additional nine places yet to be confirmed.

Focus on healthcare

The funding forms part of a £4.5m fund as part of a 75-point government action plan for promoting LGBT rights.

It comes at a time of focussing on providing adequate healthcare for LGBTI patients by the National Health Service (NHS).

A recent survey found 16% of people reported having a negative experience on the NHS due to their sexual orientation, according to the Independent.

In September, the UK’s equality watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it would begin a judicial review action against by NHS England for not offering fertility treatments to transgender patients.

The commission argued that not offering fertility treatments to patients restricts their options for reproduction, which is discriminatory against transgender patients.

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