Striving for LGBT inclusive education: An interview with Jordan Daly
1 Nov 2022
Ahead of our Annual Conference, members of Changing our World, our children and young people's advisory group, interviewed some of the speakers. Here, Shaun is in conversation with Jordan Daly, co-founder of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE).
Shaun: Welcome, Jordan! My name is Shaun, I’m from Changing Our World. Do you want to start by telling us a wee bit about yourself?
Jordan: Hi Shaun, it’s really nice to speak to you! My name is Jordan, I’m one of the co-founders and directors of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE). We are Scotland's LGBT inclusive education charity and we work with schools across the country and support them to take a proactive educational approach to the bullying and prejudice that young people who are LGBT, or young people who are thought to be LGBT by others, or young people who have LGBT family members, can often experience at school.
We've been running as a charity since 2018 but we began as a grassroots campaign in 2015. The past seven years of my life have been dedicated to trying to advance LGBT inclusive education, which is something I didn't have as a young person growing up gay, who experienced prejudice and bullying at school. I know the difference that inclusive education would have made to my school experience.
Shaun: It sounds very interesting. You're going to be a keynote speaker at the conference, what are you planning to focus on?
Jordan: I last spoke at the Children in Scotland conference in 2016 when I delivered a joint keynote speech with TIE's other co-founder, Liam. At that point we were about a year and a half into our campaign, we had just begun generating support across civic society and from members of the Scottish Parliament. We were really in the early days of raising awareness on the continued presence of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia within school settings and ultimately why LGBT inclusive education is important. So the 2016 speech was very much focused on getting to a point of change – a campaigning speech.
Since then, our campaign was successful. In 2018 Scotland became the first country in the world to agree to implement LGBT inclusive education in all local authority-run schools. So there's been quite a lot of progress. Speaking at this year's conference, what I'm really going to focus on is an update on the progress that's been made and some of the changes that we're starting to see already within our education landscape in terms of achieving a more inclusive and equitable learning environment for LGBT young people.
I'm also a little bit older and wiser now. When I spoke in 2016, I was only 20. I've learned a lot about campaigning and activism since then. And so, I think one of the things I'm keen to focus on is reflection – what I've learned from being a young person involved in that kind of work and as someone who had certain experiences in school that I wasn't happy about, and using those experiences to try and achieve change.
Shaun: Why did you decide to speak at the conference?
Jordan: Probably to have the opportunity to provide that update. Also having the opportunity to speak to an audience of education professionals and adults, and really impart messages for the young people – that their voice can be heard, and they can change their country. I really want them to understand what LGBT young people experience at school right now – the rates of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia – and what's available for them as education professionals and professionals across the sector to effectively respond to that.
Shaun: It’s amazing work that you’re doing. So what do you hope people will take away from your talk?
Jordan: I'm hopeful that they'll gain a little bit of knowledge and understanding around what young people's experiences are. And for the education professionals specifically, I’m hoping that they'll leave the conference and use all of the resources available to them to advance LGBT inclusive education in their settings.
Shaun: Final question – what are you most looking forward to at the conference?
Jordan: Honestly, being at a physical in-person conference again. And meeting new people face-to-face for the first time since the pandemic and seeing people that we've worked with. A lot of our work between 2020 and 2021 was pretty much online or, more recently, hybrid events with smaller audiences. And I've got a bit of Zoom fatigue so I'm keen to actually get back into a real-world environment. So I'm really looking forward to hearing people's ideas and perspectives and learning more about some of the work that others are doing.
Shaun: I definitely agree with you. Being in-person again is amazing. And also, as an LGBTQ+ young person, I am really looking forward to hearing your talk because I did not get inclusive education in school, and I wish I did. So yeah, thank you so much, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference.
Jordan: Thank you very much, and thank you for interviewing me.
Jordan Daly will speak at Children in Scotland's Annual Conference 2022 on 9 November at 3pm.
Click here to browse the programme #CiSAC22