Improving school for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex (LGBTI) pupils is to be the focus of a new Scottish Government working group.

Announcing the new group during a Scottish Parliament debate, higher and further education minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said the government has listened to concerns about the “difficulties” faced by some young people in school.

Recent research found nine out of ten LGBTI people experience homophobia at school while more than a quarter have attempted to take their own lives as a result of bullying.

The findings were published by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which is lobbying the Scottish Government to introduce LGBTI education into schools in order to tackle the problem.

Ms Somerville told Holyrood: “Our education system must support all Scotland’s young people to reach their full potential and we have listened carefully to concerns about the difficulties being faced by some young people in schools.

“While local authorities and schools are best-placed to decide how to deliver the curriculum based on local needs and circumstances, there may be more that can done to improve the education experience for LGBTI young people.

“That is what this working group will consider and we look forward to receiving its recommendations in due course.”

The group will be chaired by Association of Directors of Education and will include education leaders, equalities experts and young people, as well as TIE campaign representatives.

TIE campaign co-founder Jordan Daly said the launch is a “significant step forward” for the movement and all LGBTI young people across the country.

He said: “As such, we welcome this news and now look forward to working alongside the Scottish Government and other organisations including LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall Scotland in order to ensure that the support which exists for our campaign translates into real change at a national level.”

Ahead of the debate, Ms Somerville and Deputy First Minister John Swinney met TIE campaigners and representatives of Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, which currently supports school staff and teachers to meet the needs of LGBTI pupils.

LGBT Youth Scotland chief executive Fergus McMillan and Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane also welcomed the group.

Mr Macfarlane said: “Despite significant progress and excellent work being undertaken by many schools to support their LGBTI pupils, we know that progress has been patchy and many teachers continue to feel ill-equipped to tackle bullying of LGBTI pupils and to talk about LGBTI issues within the classroom.

“We are also clear that this working group must be focused on action which delivers clear and tangible outcomes that act as a catalyst for real change in Scotland’s schools so that all young people are accepted without exception.”

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