Homophobic bullying falls by a third in British schools in ten years

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Cases of homophobic bullying in British secondary schools has fallen by a third in ten years, a new study has found.

The study from the University of Cambridge, commissioned by Stonewall, has found that instances of anti-gay language and that schools are actively more likely to stop anti-gay attacks.

But according to the study, 45 percent of gay pupils still face bullying.

This is despite being less likely to experience bullying on the levels recorded five or ten years ago.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said that bullying needs to be “urgently addressed”.

Back in 2012, 55 percent of gay pupils said they faced bullying, a percentage which has now fallen to 45 percent.

“Since the 2007 School Report, the number of lesbian, gay and bi pupils bullied because of their sexual orientation has fallen by almost a third,” reads the research.

“The number of schools who say this bullying is wrong has nearly trebled, and homophobic remarks are far less likely to be heard.”

The study was based on a sample of 3,700 11 to 19 year-old pupils.

It also found that a third of schools have a club or society for gay pupils.

Two in five students also said they were aware that one of their teachers was openly gay.

Different areas experienced different levels of bullying, with 36 percent of gay students in South-East England saying they experienced bullying, compared to 54 percent of those in Wales.

In the West and East Midlands, 51 percent of gay students had experienced bullying.

7 percent of students overall said they had experienced a physical attack and 4 percent said they experienced death threats.

The study also looked at mental health issues, describing them as “alarmingly high” in gay pupils and four out of five transgender respondents said they had self harmed.

“While our new school report shows an improved experience for pupils in many ways, it also needs to act as a wake-up call for schools, government and politicians on just how far we still have to go,” said Hunt.

“Almost half of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender] young people are still bullied at school for being LGBT,” she added.

This week a private Jewish girls school in Hackney, north London faced closure for not teaching students about homosexuality or gender reassignment.