17 May 2022

Edinburgh College receives Charter Award for LGBT Inclusion

Blog by Bethany Parsons – Edinburgh College Equalities Officer

Today, May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This date was chosen in commemoration of the World Health Organisation’s 1990 decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder, and calls for action to tackle the prejudice and discrimination that LGBT people continue to face in today’s society. The date is marked in over 130 countries around the world.

This year, for May 17, Edinburgh College is elighted to announce that we’ve been awarded the Foundation Charter Award from LGBT Youth Scotland. This is the result of a year-long project to evaluate where the College is now on LGBT inclusion, and how we can do better for our LGBT staff and students.

The Charter Award programme was split into six elements:


  1. Leadership
  • We set up an LGBT Champion Committee to oversee the work needed to complete the Charter Award.
  • In June 2021, we surveyed staff and students about their perceptions of how inclusive Edinburgh College is for LGBT people.
  • This highlighted that we could do better around visibility and training.


  1. Training
  • An online training course designed by LGBT Youth Scotland was made available to College staff in summer 2021.
  • A group of staff went on a follow-up live workshop in August 2021.
  • All staff received an LGBT Briefing through the College Update for LGBT History Month in February 2022


  1. Policy
  • LGBT Youth Scotland reviewed some of our policies, and gave feedback that went into the upcoming revised Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy.


  1. Practice
  • In June 2021, we produced a Pronouns Explainer video, with staff and students submitting their own “Hello, my name is… and my pronouns are…” vids.
  • ECSA Student President Rose and Equalities Lead Bethany produced a video about bisexuality for Pride.
  • In February 2022, we got to do some in-person activities. College staff joined ECSA on their LGBT History Month stalls in Granton and Milton Road.


  1. Visibility
  • We’re working on increasing the visibility of our commitment to LGBT inclusion, including distributing leaflets about LGBT Youth Scotland’s youth services and including links to LGBT services on the College website.


  1. Monitoring and Evaluation
  • We’ve passed our evaluation with LGBT Youth Scotland and received the Foundation Charter Award!
  • That doesn’t mean that the journey ends here – we’re looking at ways to continue our LGBT inclusion journey.