EQUALITY Campaigners plan to launch a teacher training scheme to tackle homophobia in schools.

The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign plans to start the Glasgow and Edinburgh-based programme in October.

Founded by Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson, from Cumbernauld, the campaign aims to highlight the issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils across Scotland.

Campaigners say young people are self harming, committing suicide and suffering regular abuse due to their peers not understanding LGBT issues.

They are fighting to introduce LGBT education into Scottish schools as part of the statutory curriculum, and have taken their campaign to Holyrood previously.

Their new training scheme will be piloted across Scotland's two largest cities on October 1 in Glasgow, and October 8 in Edinburgh.

Teachers attending the free training days will learn about tackling homophobic attitudes in the classroom and how to talk about LGBT issues with pupils in primary and secondary schools.

Training will also be provided on teaching children with additional support needs about the issues.

Knightswood Secondary School teacher John Naples Campbell is among the group of teachers who have helped to design the course.

A TIE spokesman said: “For a year now, we have been campaigning for the Scottish Government to ensure that all schools are inclusive of LGBTI identities, and while we have considerable political support for our cause we have encountered some worrying trends which must be addressed immediately."

"As a result of cuts to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) budgets, many schools are struggling to cover the costs of training their staff on LGBTI issues.

"This is why we have ensured that our course will remain free of charge and will be held out of school hours on Saturdays.

"Our events are a response to the systematic barriers which prevent schools from becoming inclusive of LGBTI young people, and we would encourage all teaching staff - whether probationary, trainee or currently practicing - to attend in October.”

Leading human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, Scottish Greens MSP Patrick Harvie and the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth of the Scottish Episcopal Church are among the list of speakers due to present at the events.

Those interested can visit www.tieglasgow.eventbrite.co.uk or www.tieedinburgh.eventbrite.co.uk