Homophobic bullying should be 'taken more seriously'
05 July 2012
Gay rights charity Stonewall has called for homophobic bullying in schools to be taken more seriously.
For its latest 'School Report'
the organisation carried out a survey of 1,614 lesbian, gay and bisexual people between the ages of 11-19. The research revealed that:
- 55% of those surveyed said they were targeted because of their sexuality.
- 44% of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils skip school because of bullying
- homophobic bullying of gay pupils is lower in schools that explicitly state that homophobic bullying is wrong and where schools teach and address gay issues.
At the report launch, Stephen Twigg MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education celebrated the efforts that some schools are making to tackle homophobia through PSHE education:
"I am excited by schools like School 21, being set up in Newham, and
Reddish Vale Technology college, where I visited recently, that are
taking innovative approaches to embedding PSHE and citizenship education
within their curriculum. There are many tools being deployed in our
He also said that he believes in "a broad curriculum, grounded in rigour and one that allows flexibility for schools" and for "a curriculum that enables schools, whatever the type of school, to equip children with a rounded education, one that challenges prejudice and celebrates diversity".
The report also reminds us that Ofsted now looks to schools to combat homophobic bullying as part of their inspection framework.
Janet Palmer HMI- National Adviser for PSHE, Ofsted spoke at out annual conference last week and reminded delegates that all schools are required to mention how they deal with homophobia in their policies - otherwise they are breaching the Equalities Act.