LIVES could be at risk if the SNP Government fails to save a ground-breaking charity that helps tackle homophobic bullying, ministers are being warned.

Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), which has been endorsed by Nicola Sturgeon and a host of other MSPs, is facing “dissolution” because of a lack of funds.

It asked the Scottish Government for core funding of around £300,000 over three years, and initially received a positive response from John Swinney’s education department.

However the recent teachers’ pay award of 13.5 per cent has affected budgets, and TIE may collapse within weeks, according to insiders.

Opposition MSPs are now calling on the government to step in to save the organisation.

Founded in 2015 by Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson, TIE raised awareness of the isolation and bullying faced by young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland.

In 2017, the Scottish Government launched a working group with TIE to embed LGBTI-inclusive education in the school curriculum.

READ MORE: 'World first' as Scottish schools set to teach LGBTI issues

The First Minister gave the group a personal endorsement at Holyrood, telling MSPs: “I am a supporter of the TIE campaign, not just in their objectives but in the spirited way they go about trying to make sure that their objectives are taking forward.”

As a result of its work, the Government agreed last year that Scotland would be the first country in the world to make reducing LGBT-prejudice part of its education system.

Mr Swinney promised there would be “adequate funding” for new programmes and new teaching resources to support LGBTI-inclusive education.

However this week TIE, which registered as a charity last September as it looked to scale up its operations, said the funding had not come through and it could soon be wound up.

It said it needed the money to cope with a “massive demand” from schools for its services.

It said: “We cannot meet this demand - which continues to grow daily - without sustainable funding, resourcing and people power.

“Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in finding a core funding source thus far. We are now considering our options for the future, which may lead to the dissolution of TIE.

“This is not the news we hope to share with our partner organisations or with all of the schools and colleges who are patiently waiting on confirmation of whether we’ll be available to work with them. We will update the situation in the coming days.”

A source close to TIE said: “There was a commitment from John Swinney to fund it. Money has been promised and promised but not been delivered.

“It’s all very well claiming to have the most advanced parliament in the world, but you need to deliver on it. It’s a disaster for the Scottish Government. At the end of the day, young people’s lives are at risk if this is not delivered.”

LibDem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The TIE campaign played an enormous part in forcing the case for LGBT+ inclusive education on to the national policy agenda. I was delighted when the Scottish Government agreed last year to accept all of their recommendations for making our education system more inclusive.

“It is all very well for ministers and politicians to praise their work but ultimately that must be matched by the necessary funding to ensure that these policies can be brought to fruition.

“I hope that Scottish Government ministers will sit down with the TIE campaign and hammer out a sustainable settlement to ensure that this essential work can continue.”

READ MORE: LGBT Campaigners demand change at Holyrood to tackle homophobia in schools

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill added: “The TIE campaign have been doing important work in Scotland’s schools, and their programmes are a significant step forward for LGBTi young people’s right to a fair and equal education.

“The news that the organisation is facing closure because of a lack of funding from the Scottish Government is distressing.

“It is simply not enough for SNP Ministers to say they back the TIE campaign, they need to put this support into action. We cannot allow Scotland’s schools to take a step backwards when it comes to inclusive education.”

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: “The TIE campaign have made an amazing impact in a short space of time, but their transition to becoming a fully fledged education charity means they need to step up to the next level financially.

“If the Scottish Government’s commitment to LGBTI inclusive education is serious, they will need to fund the work that’s needed one way or another, so we’d encourage them to work with TIE as the most obvious and best qualified people to deliver this work.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are fully aware of the funding difficulties currently being experienced by the TIE Campaign. We are carefully considering all options to further support the TIE Campaign in its important work with schools in Scotland.”