Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
ABA is working with EACH on a Department for Education and Government Equalities Office grant to challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in West of England schools. The Programme is called Inspiring Equality in Education.
We have produced a guide for school staff on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying for disabled children and young people with SEN. Click here for the full version of the guide and here for the short version.
Take a look at our list of Dos and Don’ts when tackling homophobic, biophobic and transphobic bullying.
This list has been influenced by the lived experiences of children and young people. You could use this list to inspire staff in your college or school to compile their own guidance or use this as part of a staff training exercise.
ABA and EACH have issued a joint media briefing to launch the guide following research that highlights 'disabled young people who identify as LBGT+ are being bullied and silenced in our schools.' Read the briefing here.
About the programme:
The Government Equalities Office and Department for Education awarded funding from a £2m package of support to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality and challenge prejudice-based bullying in schools from April 2015 – March 2016. EACH (working in partnership with ABA) was one of only eight organisations selected nationally and will lead a consortium of local and national charities to work with West of England schools.
A recent report from NatCen found that schools lack confidence in dealing with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, are unsure how to address it and feel under-resourced. This funding will enable EACH and ABA to work closely with schools in urban and rural areas across the West of England: building their capacity to challenge and prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. It will also equip teachers to feel more confident providing affirmative and accurate representations of gay, bisexual and transgender lives in their classroom.
In 2014 nearly half of gay or transgender young people reported that their time at school was affected by discrimination or fear of discrimination and 65% stated that teachers rarely spoke out against homophobia or transphobia in their school. This lack of support and affirmation has devastating consequences for far too many young people with 52% of respondents reporting having engaged in self-harm (Youth Chances, 2014).
Research indicates that disabled children and those with SEN are at an increased risk of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. A survey of UK LGBT youth found that two thirds of disabled children and those with SEN had experienced homophobic bullying, compared to 55% among the sample as a whole (Guasp, 2012). To date, little attention has been paid to this "minority within a minority." As part of this programme, a literature review was commissioned on Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying among Disabled Children and those with SEN.
The programme will be led by EACH in partnership with the Anti Bullying Alliance, PSHE Association, Off the Record (Bristol) and the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research (CEIR) at Sheffield Hallam University. It will feature a range of work to build teachers and schools capacity to challenge and prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying:
Trialling innovative school-based initiatives
Free training events for teachers and school support staff
New educational multimedia resources for cross-curricular lessons on LGBT equality
Enhanced support raising awareness of gender identity matters
Ground breaking practice to ensure lessons on sexuality and gender identity are inclusive of disabled pupils and those with SEN
New evidence based on robust evaluation of what works and why
Lauren Seager-Smith, National Coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance said:
‘We know that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying destroys young lives – this funding is vital to bring lasting change. Our particular role in the project is to consult with disabled young people about their experiences of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and to make sure schools are supported to make their anti-bullying work fully inclusive.’
Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson, said:
“It’s good news that schools are making progress on homophobic bullying, but it must be eradicated entirely. The trauma of being bullied at school can stay with you for life, and it is absolutely unacceptable that those who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are being targeted. Teachers need specialist support and training to help them stamp out homophobic bullying, which is why we have funded these excellent projects which are designed to tackle this issue head on.”
From April 2015, ten selected schools across Avon and Somerset will have the unique opportunity to work with the consortium’s subject matter experts and deliver innovative whole-school initiatives challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. By March 2016, these schools will be recognised as a ‘beacon’ of best practice upon whom others can model their own policy and practice. Further schools in the region will benefit from free training opportunities on disablist, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and cutting-edge resources.
For more information about the programme and how your school can get involved contact EACH on 0117 946 7607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.