To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions her Department has had with teachers and other education providers on the training required by teachers to effectively tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
8 December 2016
Bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, is unacceptable and should not be tolerated in our schools. The Government is committed to tackling it in all forms.
All schools are required by law to have a behaviour policy with measures to tackle bullying among pupils. Schools are free to develop their own anti-bullying strategies but they are held clearly to account for their effectiveness through Ofsted. We trust schools to decide for themselves what training their staff need in order to be able to do this effectively.
However, we know that individuals who are, or perceived to be, homosexual, bisexual or transgender are disproportionately affected by bullying. In 2015, research by the UCL Institute of Education identified that 56% of young LGB people aged 14-16 were bullied compared to 45% of their heterosexual peers. To help schools to tackle bullying and support victims, in September 2016 the Department for Education and the Government Equalities Office announced £4.4m of funding for 10 projects to tackle bullying, including £2.8 million for projects tackling specifically homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying. This programme focuses on primary and secondary schools in England which currently have no, or ineffective, measures in place. The funding will involve voluntary sector organisations engaging with teachers and schools through training, and supporting them to work through a whole school approach. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-more-children-to-benefit-from-anti-bullying-app.