Fight against LGBT bullying in schools gets £1 million funding boost

Britain's International Development Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt, who announced new funds to tackling LGBT bullying in schools.

More funding will be available to charities and voluntary organisations working to end LGBT+ bullying in schools, the government announced on Sunday (November 4).

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt announced a £1 million extension to a government programme tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

The programme is already in place in 1,200 schools in England, the government says, but new grants will be made available for bidding starting November 5, with the aim of fighting LGBT+ bullying in even more schools around the country.

The government describes the programme as having various components. Part of it focuses on training teachers on how to spot early signs of bullying and how to intervene appropriately, while another provides teachers with resources to deliver lessons on LGBT+ issues “to ensure all pupils feel accepted and included.”

Diversity Role Models running a diversity workshop in a school in London. (Diversity Role Models)

“Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, to love who they love, and to live their lives without judgement or fear,” Mordaunt said.

“That’s why this government is stepping up its work to tackle bullying in schools, to protect more children and to stop hatred from festering and growing in to discrimination in adulthood,” the minister added.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has also set up a new fund of £600,000 to local community groups providing services to LGBT people in their local area as well as offering a further £1 million in funding for organisations focusing on improving LGBT+ people’s health and social care, in response to a government survey of LGBT+ people—the largest national survey of this kind to date—earlier this year.

The survey results indicated, among other issues, a lack of appropriate response from healthcare services to LGBT+ people’s needs.

In response to the survey, the government announced in July a LGBT Action Plan composed of 75 commitments to tackling discrimination and improving the lives of LGBT people in the UK.

Mordaunt says the GEO is recruiting nine members to join a LGBT Advisory Panel (Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty)

One of the commitments was the appointment of a national LGBT health adviser—whose identity has yet to be revealed—and another was a ban on so-called gay conversion therapy.

Mordaunt however announced that the GEO would begin recruiting nine members to join a LGBT Advisory Panel to offer the government counsel on policy, act as a sounding board, and provide evidence on the experiences of LGBT people.

The new members, whose recruitment will follow an open process starting on November 4, will join Stonewall, the LGBT Consortium and the LGBT Foundation who have already been appointed to the panel.