Primary schools in the UK have the capabilities of creating learning environments that are inclusive to every child, including children of the LGBTQ+ community. They also have the potential to make the educational system reflect the society that we live in, an accepting society of tolerance that accepts all students no matter their sexual orientation. When school children feel represented in the educational system, this can have positive impacts on, not only their education, but more importantly their mental health and wellbeing.
So, how can British schools improve inclusiveness for LGBTQ+ children and make LGBTQ+ children feel more represented?
Firstly, teachers and staff in general in schools should be educated on using the correct LGBTQ+ language. Teachers and staff can sometimes feel apprehensive in what is both correct and age appropriate language to use, however the Stonewall’s child-friendly glossary can give insight and educate teachers and staff. Schools could also invite some specialist external training for educating teachers on LGBTQ+ language.
Furthermore, it is essential that sex education in British schools include LGBTQ+ relationships. Sex education has never been particularly ground-breaking in the UK and some children leave feeling more confused than ever, however when LGBTQ+ experiences are not even mentioned this creates an environment of exclusivity for LGBTQ+ children. Not just LGBTQ+ youth but all students need to learn and be aware of LGBTQ+ sex and relationships. LGBTQ+ children deserve to learn about their experiences in a safe setting and need to feel heard in order to stay safe and healthy.
Parents and carers should also be included in order to make schools more inclusive for LGBTQ+ children and it is essential for schools to communicate with parents and carers. Everything should be transparent for parents and carers and this could be done by educating them by using books and other resources in order to inform. This can also lead to households being more inclusive for LGBTQ+ children as parents are more informed.
Another way that schools can create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ children is including the achievements of LQBTQ+ people in the face of adversity in the curriculum. An example of this is Alan Turing, the mathematician and breaker of the enigma code. The curriculum should also make children aware of the hardships and injustices that LGBTQ+ people have had to face throughout history and still have to face today.