College aims for LGBT+ Gold status

College aims for LGBT Gold status

West Lothian College is working towards achieving LGBT+ Gold accreditation, after gaining silver in 2019.

In partnership with the Student Association, a range of steps have been taken to provide more support to LGBT+ students and staff at the college. This included nearly 100 staff completing LGBT and transgender awareness training in the summer.

Earlier this year, the college held a staff conference focused on equality and diversity. Speakers spoke openly about their own experiences of being LGBT+.

Following the conference, consultation with students led to college processes being changed to provide more support for students. This included the use of pronouns for staff and students, and the development of a number of policies.

Micole Cochrane, Student Association Development Officer at the college, said: “We are creating a web service to ensure that West Lothian College’s transgender, non-binary and gender diverse students feel informed and supported. Rainbow lanyards are available for staff and worn as a sign to LGBT+ students that they are allies.”

The college has celebrated a number of events this year in support of the LGBT+ community. In July, it hosted West Lothian Pride on its Livingston campus, and celebrated LGBT+ History Month and Transgender Day of Visibility.

Blair Stewart, West Lothian College Student Association President, said: "Working towards achieving the LGBT+ Gold Charter makes me very proud. The college has created new policies and services to support our LGBT+ students because we want all students to feel able to be themselves at college and thrive."

Jackie Galbraith, Principal of West Lothian College, said: “It’s really important to West Lothian College that we are welcoming to all, and that we celebrate and support diversity. I’m very proud of everyone involved in leading our journey towards achieving the LGBT+ Gold Charter, and I am excited to see what more we can do”