Hertfordshire County Council secures top national award in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2016
12 July 2016
On Friday 8th July young people from Herts1125 “Who not What” group attended the Stonewall Education for All conference, with staff from Youth Connexions and Herts for Learning, they received the number one award on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council. The award recognises the local authority as the best in the country for its work with and for the young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Stonewall’s Education Equality Index (EEI) measures how well local authorities support LGBT young people in their local community, and support schools to celebrate difference and prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. The Index also looks at practice and policy at all of the participating local authorities. Fifty local authorities submitted entries to the 2016 Index showcasing the positive work taking place across the country.
Alex Ferguson, the Youth Connexions youth worker who supports Who not What, and Kate Stockdale and Karin Hutchinson from Herts for Learning, also attended this annual event and Alex had this to say:
“I am lucky enough to work with some incredible young people who show so much commitment and enthusiasm for the volunteering they undertake, and the opportunities they open up, that shape the changes in the county for themselves and their peers. To have their work recognised by Stonewall, a national organisation working on behalf of the LGBT community is amazing and I am so very proud of them and all that they have achieved”.
Hertfordshire has fast become an active and supportive local authority when it comes to listening to the voice of young people. This has been achieved through the support of Cllr Richard Roberts, Executive Member for Children’s Services; Jim McManus, Director of Public Health; the continued development of work in schools with teachers and support staff by Herts for Learning; and the growth of local support and social groups by Youth Connexions.
Cllr Richard Roberts and Jan Paine, Managing Director, Herts for Learning said in a joint statement:
“We are delighted that Hertfordshire has gained top ranking in the Stonewall Education Equality Index 2016, rewarding our high priority for inclusion and our drive for continuous improvement. This year we are particularly pleased to celebrate the significant contribution of leadership for young people by young people across Hertfordshire, that means the LGBT voice is stronger than ever. Young people are influencing our strategic direction and enriching our longstanding partnership work within the county across schools, Herts for Learning and Youth Connexions Hertfordshire.”
Herts1125 is a group of young people who represent the views and opinions of those aged 11–25. Working alongside and supported by Youth Connexions the group can be joined by any young people between the ages of 11 and 25 who live, work or are educated in the county. More information about Herts1125.