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Hertfordshire has been named as one of the best authorities in the country for tackling homophobic bullying.
Herts for Learning and Hertfordshire County Council have been named by Stonewall as the one of the best local authorities in Britain for tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying and celebrating difference in its schools.
Stonewall today publishes the Education Equality Index 2015, listing the Top 10 local authorities in Britain, with Herts for Learning and Hertfordshire County Council coming in second place.
The Index measures practice and policy at all of the participating local authorities. 47 local authorities submitted entries to the 2015 Index, the most competitive to date.
Herts for Learning Ltd (HfL) and Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) are also the recipients of a special award as the overall best performing local authority in the Education Equality Index over the past five years. Hertfordshire prioritises engaging young people in challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia with the establishment of the Herts 1125 Who Not What group.
Hertfordshire places a strong emphasis on regular training for governors, school staff and Early Years providers on tackling bullying, pupil welfare, valuing difference and creating inclusive environments. Hertfordshire Grid for Learning has an extensive section on preventing and tackling the bullying of LGBT people, including details on Herts for Learning's Drawing the Line initiative which supports anti homophobia, anti-biphobia and anti-transphobia work in the whole school community, and resources from the Hertfordshire LGBT Partnership.
The Teachers' Report 2014 found that over 90 per cent of primary school staff - and eight in ten secondary school teachers - say they haven't received specific training on how to tackle homophobic and biphobic bullying.
Full results of the 2015 Stonewall Top 10 local authorities list will be announced during a ceremony at the charity's annual Education for All Conference held today (10 July) at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.
Karin Hutchinson, Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser - Anti-bullying, Herts for Learning said: 'In Hertfordshire we value the opportunity to fully audit our work annually and to evaluate our performance in a quality benchmarking process. The Stonewall Education Equality Index challenges us to ensure that we are making a real difference for LGBTQ young people and delivering best quality support services to all our schools.
'Over the past year, Herts for Learning has particularly focused on providing training to support schools in delivering LGBTQ-inclusive Relationship and Sex Education; Youth Connexions Hertfordshire has supported our young LGBT community to establish a strategic voice working with elected members and key decision makers, as well as making progress to have young LGBTQ Health Champions in our schools.'
David Williams, Hertfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education and Skills, said: "We're very pleased to be named among the best local authorities at tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying in our schools. It is part of the work we do across the board to tackle all types of bullying in schools. We want children in Hertfordshire to get the best possible start in life and this recognises how we support them to thrive and prosper."
Sarah Rose, Senior Account Manager, Stonewall: 'We have seen phenomenal work from all of those local authorities that have participated in this year's Education Equality Index - in particular our Top 10 and our award winners. We'd like to extend huge congratulations to Herts for Learning and Hertfordshire County Council for all of their achievements in continuing to fight against bullying and discrimination.'
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