Merton is the top London local authority and has ranked 13th out of 39 overall local authorities in the Stonewall Education Equality Index.

Stonewall’s Education Equality Index measures how well local authorities support schools to celebrate difference and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, as well as support LGBT young people in their local community.

This is the sixth year Merton has completed the index.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, said: “Merton is a diverse borough and everyone is welcome here. It is fantastic that our efforts to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools have been recognised in the Stonewall Education Equality Index.

“The mental health of LGBT+ young people will continue to be a priority during the next year and we will continue to ensure that schools are aware of the importance of tackling bullying and derogatory language.”

Senior Account Manager at Stonewall, Sarah Rose said: “We’ve seen outstanding work from all of those local authorities that have participated in this year’s Education Equality Index. Merton Council has made huge strides with its phenomenal initiatives and inspiring work with and for local young people, working to celebrate difference and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.”

Activities have included the LGBT+ Health and Wellbeing conference; presentations and primary school workshop delivered by students from Ricards Lodge School in Wimbledon, plus a new LGBT+ youth group in Morden, funded by the Merton LGBT+ forum.

The Ricards Lodge students featured in a film presented at the Stonewall National Conference in Birmingham.