Scotland poll: 90% of secondary school teachers say there is still homophobic bullying

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A YouGov poll has shown that nine in 10 secondary school teachers in Scotland say homophobic bullying still happens in their school.

The Teachers’ Report 2014, commissioned by Stonewall Scotland, also revealed only 16% of teachers have had specific training to deal with homophobia.

Drama teacher John Naples Campbell told the BBC: “There are still a lot of teachers within Scotland who believe that Section 28 is still there, or who were actually trained under Section 28 and haven’t been given the training by the Scottish government to actually deal with (the issues) now.”

“I think staff need to be more open… we need to be much more confident about being open within our classrooms about issues that affect young people in the world today.”

Some staff also reported they were not allowed, or were not sure if they were allowed, to teach on LGBT issues.

Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane said it was “troubling” that so many teachers said they were untrained to tackle homophobic bullying.

He added: “That’s why this year Stonewall Scotland launched a Train the Trainer programme which means we can work directly with teachers across Scotland.

“However, the responsibility cannot be ours alone. The Scottish government, local authorities, schools and other agencies must now make it a priority that every single teacher is trained to tackle all types of bullying and abuse in our schools.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Every secondary school in Scotland has been sent guidance on dealing with homophobia and homophobic bullying, as well as the filmed adaptation of Stonewall’s highly successful play for schools.

“Our national approach to anti-bullying sets out a common vision and aims to make sure that work across all agencies and communities is jointly focused on tackling bullying. We expect that all schools develop and implement an anti-bullying policy, which should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

“To support this we have established and wholly fund respectme, a national anti-bullying service, to build confidence and capacity to tackle all bullying, including prejudice-based bullying, effectively.”

A total of 122 primary staff and 138 secondary staff were interviewed as part of the survey.

According to a Galop survey, released in August last year, 75% of trans people and one in eight gay people were the victim a hate crimes each year in the UK.