Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) equality charity, has awarded Herts for Learning (HfL) its highest award in its Children and Children and Young People’s Services Champions programme.

This award recognises that HfL, HCC and YC are a leader in putting LGBT inclusion at the heart of children and young people’s services and public health. HfL provides quality support and training about all aspects of LGBT inclusion to schools and to wider services and staff in Hertfordshire that work with schools

HfL holds a valued place in Stonewall’s network of organisations and local authorities striving to support and facilitate LGBT inclusion. This award enables us to highlight, evidence and showcase our work.

Why does LGBT inclusion matter?  According to Stonewall:

  • 84% of trans young people have self-harmed. For lesbian, gay, and bi young people who aren’t trans, 61% have self-harmed
  • 45% of trans young people have attempted to take their own life. For lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans, 22% have attempted to take their own life
  • just 40% of LGBT young people have an adult at home they can talk to about being LGBT.

It is therefore no surprise HfL’s commitment to equality and diversity is a key driver to ensure every young person can fulfil their potential. The HfL Wellbeing team continues to support schools on LGBT inclusive teaching from early years settings through to the end of secondary school in Hertfordshire and beyond. This work includes supporting schools in prevention of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia; support and training for school leaders on prejudice related incidents; parent sessions to support anti-bullying and anti-prejudice; and preparing schools to deliver the new RSHE curriculum, which must be LGBT inclusive. HfL also provide training to partners in Hertfordshire County Council working with LGBT young people.

If this story sounds familiar, it is because HfL’s LGBT work has been celebrated by Stonewall each year since 2011. Hertfordshire even received a special Stonewall award in 2015 as the ‘Top Performing’ organisation across five years.

Karin Hutchinson, Lead Wellbeing Adviser at HfL said of the award:  “This work is so important and we are delighted that we have maintained our position at the forefront of best practice, when the bar is constantly being raised. The new mandatory RSHE curriculum will ensure that all schools will be LGBT inclusive from September 2020, and in HfL we are well positioned to support any school that needs to evolve this aspect of their teaching.”

Find out more about pupil wellbeing, for all phases and settings: Pupil wellbeing