NORTH Yorkshire has been named as one of the best councils in the country at tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, has named North Yorkshire County Council as one of the best in Britain for tackling bullying and celebrating difference.

The council finished second in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2017.

Sarah Rose, senior account manager for Stonewall, said: “North Yorkshire council has done a fantastic job once again – providing schools with an excellent range of regularly updated guidance and truly inspiring initiatives for local young people across the area.”

North Yorkshire’s initiatives include LGBT young groups trained by Stonewall to run campaigns, LGBT champions in the council’s prevention and healthy child teams, and a film produced for schools, among other things.

County Cllr Janet Sanderson, the executive member for children and young people, said they were very proud of the recognition.

“We profoundly believe that all young people in our county should be supported to have the most positive experience of life both in school and in the wider world, whatever their faith, gender and sexual orientation.

“All young people have a huge amount to contribute to our society and all must be given every opportunity to fulfil their potential. I am genuinely grateful for the hard work of the county council team supporting the LGBT community.”

One 18-year-old said the support he received from an LGBT youth group in North Yorkshire had been critical.“I came to it at a time when I really needed it. It was just so great to be with other people in the same situation. A lot of LGBT people our age are not out publicly so the group provides a safe environment where you can express yourself.”