SEVERAL secondary schools across East Renfrewshire have engaged in a charter programme designed to support inclusivity and the experiences of LGBTQ+ staff and pupils.

The LGBT Charter scheme is a programme that provides schools and organisations with training to challenge prejudice and ensure that equality and diversity are at the heart of the school.

The programme is run by LGBT Youth Scotland.

Four secondary schools across the area have either been awarded charter status or are currently working towards it.

The most recent school to be awarded in the local authority is Eastwood High School followed by Barrhead High School, while Mearns Castle High School and Williamwood High are working towards various awards.

Ali Kerr, head of partnerships at LGBT Youth Scotland, believes that the charter’s reach is a positive step for building a more inclusive Scotland.

She said: “These are formative years for young people and it’s vital that LGBTQ+ individuals are supported and that non=LGBTQ+ people feel equipped and inspired to champion inclusivity at every turn.

“Having such a high proportion of East Renfrewshire schools working in partnership with us and participating in our LGBT Charter shows that they are playing a key role in creating safe spaces for young LGBTQ+ people in Scotland.

“With over half of secondary schools participating, this represents a significant commitment from Scottish educators to LGBT inclusion.

“The job isn’t done though, we’d ideally love all of our secondary and further education providers to achieve charter status.”

In total, there are four LGBT Charter awards offered.

The programme has now reached 212 of Scotland’s 357 secondary schools, with a further 40 primary schools and 21 colleges and universities either awarded charter status or working towards it.