Guidance on gay bullying issued to schools

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

The Department for Children, Families and Schools has issued guidance to schools in England and Wales on how to tackle homophobic bullying.

The new guidance from the government gives teachers, head teachers, school governors and support staff practical advice on how to recognise, prevent and respond to homophobic language and physical abuse.

It follows on from Stonewall’s wide-ranging study into homophobic bullying published in June this year, entitled The School Report.

Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of homopbobic harassment.

That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.

The survey of more than 1,100 young people found that only 23% of all UK schools explicitly condemn homophobic bullying.

92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse, 41% physical bullying and 17% have been subject to death threats.

30% of pupils reported that adults have been responsible for incidents of homophobic bullying in their schools.

Nearly every interviewed student had heard phrases like, ‘You’re so gay’, and remarks like ‘poof’ and ‘dyke’ in UK schools.

Kevin Brennan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families, told in July that the government wants to eradicate homophobia in education.

“The guidance is strong, it has got the full force of the government behind it,” he said.

“We are committed to making sure that every school implements the guidance.

“We don’t like to simply put bureaucratic requirements on schools without the evidence that that is needed so at this stage it remains guidance. We will be monitoring its implementation.”

The Department for Children, Families and Schools also launched an online cyberbullying campaign today.

New guidance and a short film will help schools tackle bullies who use the internet or mobile phones to bully other children or abuse their teachers.

To view the government guidance on homophobic bullying click here.