Sheffield Council praised for work to stamp out bullying in schools

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Sheffield Council has been singled out for national praise for its work to stamp out bullying and prejudice in city schools.

For the fifth year running the council has been voted in the top 10 of the Stonewall Education Equality Index 2015.

It was praised for the work it does around mental health and social support being provided to vulnerable groups, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students.

Every two years Sheffield City Council surveys schools to evaluate their progress in tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, with the evaluations helping inform the council’s policies and practices.

This year the council’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service commissioned a project to provide mental health and social support to vulnerable groups, including LGBT young people.

Alongside this, Fruitbowl – Sheffield’s LGBT youth group – also provides one-to-one support for young people.

Now the council has begun developing city-wide guidance on supporting trans children and young people.

Figures released a few years ago showed nationally that many LGBT youngsters had faced bullying and for some this had a direct impact on achievement at school and in some extreme cases it even led to suicides.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “No one should face any form of bullying just because of whom they are, it is simply not acceptable. That is why we are working closely with our schools to end this. We recognise that the task to eradicate prejudice in still enormous but it is one which we are firmly committed to as a council.

“That is why I am pleased we have once again been singled out for recognition nationally for the wonderful things we are doing to help educate our children about why prejudice is wrong.

“There should be no barriers for people accessing education.”