Stonewall has launched a major report today based on the experiences of over 3,700 lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) pupils in Britain’s schools.
The research, carried out with the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, suggests a decrease since 2012 in anti-LGBT bullying and language, but indicates there is still much to do with nearly half of LGBT young people being bullied for being LGBT at school; high levels of poor mental health amongst LGBT young people and widespread exposure to offensive content about LGBT people online.
The findings are particularly troubling regarding trans pupils, with nearly two in three trans pupils bullied at school, one in ten having received death threats and more than two in five having tried to take their own lives.
Report recommendations include that the Department for Education should introduce statutory PSHE education that is inclusive of LGBT issues, with relationships and sex education as a component, and that new statutory guidance on RSE should ‘teach about LGBT issues in an age-appropriate way’.
The Children and Social Work Act commits the Government to introducing statutory RSE in schools from 2019, and creates a power for the Secretary of State to make PSHE education statutory in its entirety, pending consultation. Consultations on PSHE and RSE are expected to be launched soon by the DfE.
The PSHE Association is calling for statutory PSHE that ensures the subject is taught regularly, as a whole subject (from RSE to mental & physical health, online safety to job skills), by trained teachers, in all schools and for all pupils.
The Association is also working with the Government Equalities Office (GEO), Stonewall and other sector organisations on the anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying programme 2016-2019. This programme aims to reduce the incidence of HBT bullying in primary and secondary schools in England by transforming the culture of how schools prevent and respond to HBT bullying.