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LGBT charity facing closure due to funding shortfall

The Scottish Government has been urged to help save Time for Inclusive Education, which works to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney (front left) and Minister for Higher and Further Education Shirley-Anne Somerville (third from right) with representatives from the TIE campaign and LGBT Youth Scotland outside the Scottish Parliament (Jane Barlow/PA)
Deputy First Minister John Swinney (front left) and Minister for Higher and Further Education Shirley-Anne Somerville (third from right) with representatives from the TIE campaign and LGBT Youth Scotland outside the Scottish Parliament (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Scottish Government has been urged to help save an LGBT charity from closure.

TIE (Time for Inclusive Education), which works to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools with LGBT-inclusive education, announced on Tuesday that a failure to secure core funding means it faces being dissolved.

Following three years of campaigning by TIE, the Scottish Government announced in November last year that it would make Scotland the first country in the world to have LGBT-inclusive education embedded in the curriculum.

The Scottish Government also accepted all 33 recommendations by the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, created to improve the learning experience for LGBTI young people, in full .

In a statement released on Twitter, TIE wrote: “We have been unsuccessful in finding a core funding source thus far.

“We are now considering our options for the future, which may lead to the dissolution of TIE.

“This is not the news we hope to share with our partner organisations or with all of the schools and colleges who are patiently waiting on confirmation of whether we’ll be available to work with them.”

The charity said it would provide an update on the situation “in the coming days”.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said he hoped an agreement could be reached between TIE and the Scottish Government to secure the future of the charity.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “The TIE campaign played an enormous part in forcing the case for LGBT+ inclusive education on to the national policy agenda.

“I was delighted when the Scottish Government agreed last year to accept all of their recommendations for making our education system more inclusive.

“It is all very well for ministers and politicians to praise their work but ultimately that must be matched by the necessary funding to ensure that these policies can be brought to fruition.

“I hope that Scottish Government ministers will sit down with the TIE campaign and hammer out a sustainable settlement to ensure that this essential work can continue.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We are fully aware of the funding difficulties currently being experienced by the TIE Campaign.

“We are carefully considering all options to further support the TIE Campaign in its important work with schools in Scotland.”

PA

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