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Government Criticised

Campaigners have criticised the government for failing to address homophobia and diversity amongst young people in its new consultation document.

Schools Out, which represents LGBT teachers across the UK, says the Department for Education and Skills should incorporate diversity into its proposals to provide for young people more fully.

The claims come as the government unveils its plans to revolutionise how young people are treated in the country.

Its Green Paper ‘Youth Matters’ was released for public consultation this summer. On the paper’s website, the DfES says the proposals “radically re-shape services for young people”.

“The consultation sets out a comprehensive package aimed at improving outcomes for all young people, with a particular emphasis on those who are disadvantaged,” the DfES says.

“Young people will have more choice and influence over services and facilities that are available to them.”

However, Schools Out says the government needs to do more to tackle homophobia amongst young people and offer better protection to LGBT young people.

“Homophobia is rife in our society,” the group said.

“Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans are five times more likely to attempt and commit suicide, schools remain hostile places for them, with little attention paid to their safety or needs, and frequently home is an equally unsafe place.”

“None of these concerns or needs are identified or addressed within this so-called blueprint for all youth.”

It is calling on the government to reassess the importance it has given to LGBT issues in the document.

“There is little mention of diversity within the document nor the effects that the consequent inequality can have on young people’s physical and mental health,” the group said.