LGBT Youth Scotland’s Schools Charter
The LGBT Youth Scotland's Schools Charter is a programme that supports and guides Schools and Education Authorities on their journey to LGBT equality and inclusion. The Mary Erskine School was delighted to win its LGBT Youth Scotland Gold Charter Award in 2020. The Award followed the introduction of several new initiatives to support the School’s LGBT community and create a more inclusive culture, across the Learning environment. These initiatives included:
- Setting up the GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance) Youth Group to provide a safe and supportive space for young people to meet and discuss LGBT issues and ways to prompt conversations on these issues across the School
- Introducing compulsory LGBT training for all staff
- Updating our school policies for staff and pupils to better protect and support our LGBT community and to make them more gender inclusive. Revised policies include our Anti-bullying Policy, Equality and Diversity Policy, Dignity at Work Policy and our Uniform Policy
- Introducing a new Trans Protocol Policy to protect and promote the rights of our trans pupils
- More regular inclusion of LGBT issues across the curriculum and in school assemblies
- Surveying staff and students to identify what changes we need to make to support our LGBT community and improve education on LGBT issues
- Changing the title “Head Girl” to “School Captain”
- Increasing the number of books reflecting the LGBT community and improving the promotion of these books across the School
- Celebrating dates in the LGBT calendar across the School
We want ESMS to be a place where every student can be themselves and feel proud of who they are, so we consulted with all our pupils and used their feedback to introduce a range of new measures, including a review of our school policies. Feedback from the school community has been great so far and we look forward to building on this.
Lily B, School Captain 2020/21
Achieving our Gold Charter sends a positive message to pupils and staff that Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools is fully supportive of LGBT inclusion and that equality and diversity are at the heart of our Schools. Stewart’s Melville College is also working towards its LGBT Youth Scotland Gold Award. For more information about LGBT Youth Scotland visit www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/charter
Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
GSA is a pupil-led group set up to listen to the pupil voice. It provides a strong network for pupils, helping them feel more comfortable within the school and offering support with any issues they have. As well as offering practical support, the group is also working hard on awareness raising projects to make people inside and outside our school community more open-minded and inclusive. This includes events which raise money for LGBT charities. The group are passionate about making sure The Mary Erskine School is a happy and comfortable place for everyone. If you would like to join GSA to help us to champion the rights of the LGBT community and grow our network of support, email email@example.com
LGBT Groups and Support
For information on LGBT Youth Scotland run support, click here.
Equality and Diversity at ESMS
We want every aspect of school life to be inclusive and free from prejudice, so we recently published our Equality and Diversity Framework to help us create new initiatives to celebrate diversity, challenge prejudice and create an inclusive culture across our School.