When students return to school in Scotland this fall, they will be making history. The country will be the first to integrate LGBTQ+ education into student curriculum in all public schools, according to Edinburgh Live.
“Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality” John Swinney, deputy first minister and education secretary said in a statement. “I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum."
The decision was heavily influenced by the recommendations of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) which has been lobbying the government for several year. TIE sees the move by the government as answering the need for curriculum that brings awareness and visibility to the issues of importance to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the community’s contributions to history and culture.
“This is a monumental victory for the campaign, and a historic moment for Scotland and the world,” Jordan Daly, co-founder of TIE said in a statement. “This sends a strong and clear message to LGBTQ+ youth in a time of global uncertainty that these individuals are valued and accepted in Scotland.”
Scotland has long been at the forefront of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. The country legalized same-sex marriage in 2014, and same-sex civil partnership have been legal since 2005. Adoption and foster parenting by same-sex couples has been legal since 2009, and discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality has been in place since 2010.
Scotland is its own country, but also part of the larger United Kingdom along with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The country is renowned for its rugged shoreline and lush green landscape, which covers one-third of the island of Great Britain. After centuries of warring with her big sister to the south, Scotland finally joined the United Kingdom in 1707 during the reign of Queen Anne. The country is often at odds with England, most recently over the decision of the Boris Johnson government to leave the European Union.
According to TIE, students will “learn about the history of LGBTQ equality, how to tackle homophobia and transphobia, and the nuances of LGBTQ identity” when schools reopen.