Government funding projects to tackle homophobia in faith schools

The government has announced funding for two projects to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in faith schools.

Under funding pledged by former Minister for Woman and Equalities Nicky Morgan, the Department for Education today announced the recipients of a £4.4million fund for LGBT anti-bullying initiatives in schools.

Two of the 10 projects, from Stonewall and Bernado’s, are specifically aimed at LGBT-inclusivity among religious communities and in faith schools, where LGBT-inclusive education can often be the most lacking.

Barnardo’s plans to deliver a programme “in partnership with faith organisations, addressing HBT bullying and supporting young LGBT people of faith”.

Meanwhile, Stonewall plans to use funding to “create specific guidance” for faith organisations and faith schools, aiming to “support LGB&T pupils within their communities, offer bespoke consultation to leadership teams, and deliver school staff training through their expert faith delivery partners.”

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “School should be a safe place where children can go to grow and learn. No child should ever be bullied.”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “No child should ever have to deal with the trauma of being bullied. We want all schools to tackle HBT bullying and create an environment where every child and young person feels respected, supported and safe.

“Our work has shown us that Homophobic Biphopic and Transphobic (HBT) bullying is a particularly malicious form of abuse. The funding will provide the much needed resources to tackle HBT bullying at its core and will help to give those affected by bullying support if they need it.”

Dominic Arnall, Head of Projects and Programmes at Stonewall, said: “We want our work on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools to reach even further, so every lesbian, gay, bi and trans young person can feel safe and supported in the classroom and can achieve their full potential.

“This funding will enable us to work in partnership with faith groups and schools to deliver training appropriate to each of the major faiths to help teachers tackle anti LGBT abuse effectively.

“We’re working with expert faith partners on this project who will not only help us consult with schools but will also help deliver bespoke training and support.

“We’ll be equipping hundreds of teachers with the skills and tools that will enable them to create learning environments where every child can be accepted without exception.”

Other projects funded include an app to allow students to report homophobic cyberbullying, and anti-bullying training from groups including Diana Award, which operates in memory of Princess Diana.