LGBT Youth Scotland Charter Award
LGBT Charter at Firrhill
Firrhill is currently working towards gaining an LGBT Youth Scotland Charter Award in relation to the work pupils and staff are undertaking to support LGBTI+ young people, equality, and diversity.
The Gender, Sexuality and Equality Alliance (GSEA) is a pupil led space for young people identifying as LGBTI+, and their allies. The GSEA meet twice weekly to give members the opportunity to raise awareness amongst their peers by planning, creating, and implementing a range of activities across the wider school. An Equalities Champions pupil group has also been established, working in partnership with the Rights Respecting Schools pupil group, the Anti-Racism working group and the Feminist Society.
Over the past year, we have formed a LGBT Charter team of 10 staff volunteers to carry out a range of activities to support the goals of the Award. This has included conducting pupil and staff baseline surveys about experiences of LGBTI+ pupils within the school in order to develop key action points, and to gain feedback from staff on current LGBTI+ provision. Over 40% of staff have completed LGBT Awareness Training courses. Firrhill equality lead teachers also delivered a whole staff training session at the start of the new academic year focusing on developing a ‘Rights-Based Classroom Ethos’ which included a focus on adopting the use of more inclusive classroom language relating to gender and sexuality.
The pupil and staff working groups have increased the range of diverse and inclusive LGBTI+ books available within our school library as well as being part of library displays. The staff charter team have also created a bank of LGBTI+ inclusive teaching resources with a broad range of lesson materials being shared from Art and Design, Science, Social Subjects, Modern Languages and Home Economics.
We have continued to strengthen our celebration of past and present events related to the LGBTI+ community by promoting a range of events around International Transgender Day of Visibility, Coming Out Day and Intersex Awareness Day. As part of Anti-Bullying Week 2022, Firrhill pupil Equalities Champions designed and led a range of activities connected to Respectme’s national campaign ‘Listen Up, Respect our Rights’. This included pupils designing an Anti-Bullying procedure card for staff to use in every classroom. Pupils also helped to create a flowchart for staff to use when a young person is looking for support related to a range of equality issues such as homophobia, racism, and sexism. The Equality Champions designed and led anti-bullying assemblies highlighting Firrhill school procedures on how to tackle bullying behaviours.
Throughout the year, staff and pupils have also participated in displaying pronoun posters on classroom doors, displaying posters of transgender icons, hosting Bake Off competitions for Pride Month and showing solidarity through the wearing of Bi Visibility stickers, and hosting teacher led discussions on coming out to other people. As part of LGBT History Month 2023, pupils and staff took part in an anonymous Q&A through registration classes to ask questions related to LGBTI+ issues. Staff created a video focusing on LGBTI+ icons from diverse ethnic backgrounds and have created information slides about them which was shown to year group assemblies and displayed on our school library windows. The LGBT History Month assemblies were carried out by pupil volunteers from our Equalities Champions team. As part of Purple Friday, the GSEA ran a stall selling pronoun stickers, pride flags and rainbow lanyards, LGBTI+ History Month lessons were taught in PSE and RMPS and there was a staff fun run to Craiglockhart Hill!
Our Equality Champions continue to grow in confidence to speak openly and freely about some of the discrimination that LGBTI+ young people face. They have contributed to school policies and procedures including helping to design a new inclusive Social Dancing Policy with the PE department. They have also recently shared their experiences of working towards the LGBT Youth Scotland Charter by meeting with Amanda Hatton, Executive Director for Education and Children’s Services and Chief Education Officer for Edinburgh City Council.
For more information on the LGBT Youth Charter please visit:
For support information including youth groups, digital support and advice centre for parents and carers of an LGBTQIA+ young person please visit:
Need to chat? Text 07984 356 512 (Mon-Fri)
LGBT Youth Scotland Live chat
(6pm-8pm Mon/Wed/Thurs) at www.lgbtyouth.org.uk
Follow Firrhill GSEA on Instagram: @FirrhillGSEA