BRIGHTON and Hove City Council has been named the top local authority in the country for tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying in schools.
The pressure group Stonewall has put the council in first place in their 2014 Education Equality Index.
Stonewall has described the council as ‘leading the way’ in celebrating difference and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
Councillor Sue Shanks, chairwoman of the council’s children and young people committee, said: “We want all our young people to be proud of who they are and to be able to make the best of their talents without fear or prejudice.
“In our schools young people are active participants in our anti-bullying work.
She added: “This is a proud moment for our city.
Stonewall praised the work the council does jointly with the Allsorts Youth Project charity.
Young people from Allsorts have delivered training to council and school staff and provided anti-homophobic bullying sessions in secondary and primary schools.
Stonewall praised Blatchington Mill School for a Student Equality Conference it held earlier this year that was attended by 60 students from five secondary schools.
St Nicolas’ Primary School was praised for the innovative work it has done on challenging the use of homophobic language in the playground.
Allsorts director Jess Wood, MBE, said: “The council and our schools have done amazing work this year and deserve this great recognition.
“We cannot praise the schools highly enough.
“They have taken on the issues and worked tirelessly to change things for the better.
“We all work closely together and this mutual support and enthusiasm has made our schools and our city a safer place for LGBT children and young people.”