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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Education in the media: 24 July 2017   

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Equalities, School sport

Today’s news review looks at new measures to deliver greater equality for the LGBT community, and a survey on swimming in schools.

Promoting LGBT equality

Yesterday, Sunday, 23 July, the Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening announced new proposals to streamline and de-medicalise the process that people go through to change their gender. The new measures will form the basis of a wide-ranging consultation to review the Gender Recognition Act.

She also announced a nationwide survey to get views from LGBT people on health, safety, education and the world of work. This will help inform future government policy on LGBT issues.

The announcement received widespread media pick-up, including the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times and The Sun, with many welcoming this step to make things easier and less intrusive for transgender people.

Justine Greening was interviewed on Sky News and Minister for Equalities, Nick Gibb, wrote an opinion piece for the Mail on Sunday. In this, Minister Gibb outlined the government’s commitment to stamp out LGBT bullying and ensure gay, lesbian, bi and trans people can live free, happy and fulfilling lives.

Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said:

This government is committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality and today we’re taking the next step forward.


We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them.

To see the full press notice please see here.

Swimming in schools

Today, Monday 25 July, Swim England – the national governing body for swimming in England – reported that almost one third (31%) of all pupils are leaving primary school basic swimming and water safety skills.

This was covered by BBC Online and TES, among others.

Swimming and water safety are already compulsory parts of the primary curriculum. Building on that, the government’s Sports Strategy, led by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, included a recommendation that a working group be established to ensure that no child leaves school unable to meet a minimum standard in swimming, including those with Special Educational Needs.

We continue to work closely with Swim England and the Swim Group to review the recommendations within this report.

Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill said:

Swimming is a vital life skill and schools have a duty to teach children how to swim and learn about water safety at primary school.


These findings show that more needs to be done to ensure all schools feel confident teaching swimming to students, which is why we will continue to work closely with Swim England to review the recommendations within this report.

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