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LSIS launches pioneering resource for sexual orientation equality in FE

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) has launched a ground-breaking training resource to provide a practical approach to sexual orientation in the FE sector.

Visible and Valued, the first ever sector specific staff guide on sexual orientation equality, is designed to be used as part of an organisation-wide training programme. It aims to demonstrate how homophobia affects the lives of staff and learners and explains how to ensure compliance with the law.

The new resource is set to be launched by Wally Brown CBE, a member of the LSIS board and former principal of Liverpool Community College, on 21 November. The event, to be held at the UCU Conference Centre, will offer valuable information and understanding for a range of professionals in further education.

Margaret Adjaye, LSIS equality and diversity manager, said: "This event is being held to showcase the successful strategies developed to challenge and reduce homophobic bullying and harassment in the further education sector. We will also be supporting providers by offering a four day programme starting next month for individuals and organisations who want to develop leadership skills and expertise in making sexual orientation equality integral to organisational culture, policy and practice.

"Visible and Valued is a DVD resource that gives a platform to the voices and experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual learners and staff. It includes extensive notes and other resources, to help users work towards creating a truly inclusive, excellent and equality friendly organisation. This resource is the first of its kind in the FE and skills sector, and we would like to thank DIUS, LLUK, the LSC, UCU and the former QIA for their support and for helping to fund this important project."

Visible and Valued was developed in response to strong demand identified in a 2006 research report, Equality and sexual orientation – the leadership challenge for further education, by college principals, which identified high levels of homophobia in the sector and called for the creation of high quality, sector-specific training materials to challenge it.

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