Dedicated services designed to eradicate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying from the classroom to the playground are up and running in Midlands. Three schemes will be run by Educate and Celebrate, the Anne Frank Trust and The National Children’s Bureau after being awarded money from a £2 million government fund specifically aimed at finding innovative ways to help prevent and eradicate the problem in schools across the country.
Educate and Celebrate charity (awarded £214,048) will train all teachers in selected schools on appropriate language and how to build inclusive lessons across the curriculum. There will also be dedicated school co-ordinators working to embed good practice throughout each school. An online web resource will also be available from September.
Meanwhile the Anne Frank Trust (awarded £104,894), has already started the first phase of its work which included hosting an exhibition for 225 young people on Anne Frank and persecuted groups - including LGBT people. In addition, 24 young people were also trained to be able to deliver the exhibition to their peers. They plan to extend this to four schools in the West Midlands.
A final scheme run by the Sex Education Forum at the National Children’s Bureau (awarded £128,754) will train 1,500 teachers on how to address HBT bullying, including building confidence on how to create a more inclusive curriculum. This will run across both primary and secondary schools.
While HBT bullying in schools is decreasing, research has found that nearly half of LGBT young people reported that they were affected by discrimination or fear of discrimination1.
Minister for Women, Equalities and Family Justice Caroline Dinenage said:
“There is no place for bullying of any kind in our society. That’s why we created this fund and why we are delighted to support Educate and Celebrate, the Anne Frank Trust and the National Children’s Bureau – so that schools and communities can offer specialist support and training to tackle bullying head on.
“I’m delighted to see that such positive work is already taking place in the Midlands to help stamp out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
“This work will ensure children can learn in a safe and nurturing environment, free from bullying and fear.”
Elly Barnes, CEO of Educate and Celebrate, said:
“The enthusiastic teachers we have trained so far in the programme have started their journey to LGBT+Inclusion.
“Students, parents, teachers and governors are embracing the whole school approach and are creating positive change that will eradicate discrimination within their own schools and out into the community.”
Robert Posner, Chief Executive of the Anne Frank Trust, said:
“At the Anne Frank Trust we believe in the right of every child not to be discriminated against for their beliefs, culture, religion or sexual orientation. We are pleased that the Government Equalities Office and the Department for Education recognise the importance of tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools and we are delighted to be part of the programme. Helping young people to consider their respect for others who have different lifestyles from their own is at the heart of our work; this programme is an important part of creating a generation of young people with more positive and inclusive attitudes.”
Lucy Emmerson, Coordinator of the Sex Education Forum based at the National Children’s Bureau, said:
“Learning about diversity and difference at school helps tackle prejudice before it takes root. address the lack of confidence that many teachers report in tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
“The Sex Education Forum, based at the National Children’s Bureau, has begun training teachers to create LGBT inclusive curriculum content. This project will result in more children and young people benefiting from good quality sex and relationships education and developing respectful, as opposed to bullying, behaviour towards each other.”
The £2 million fund from the Government has also included a £465,594 grant to enable leading LGBT organisation Stonewall to recruit 60 partner organisations from across the country to deliver their successful Train the Trainer programme. The newly recruited partners will be delivering training to teachers on how to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said:
“Young people are still being teased, bullied and tormented because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s vital that teaching professionals are equipped with the right tools to prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, as well as understanding how to foster an inclusive learning environment for all students.
“Our new Training Partners programme will enable us to reach more teaching staff and schools than ever before, and help to change hearts and minds in many more communities. Our vision is to create a world where everyone, everywhere is free to be themselves, and until this is a reality, our work continues.”
The government has already taken a number of steps as part of its commitment to reduce all forms of bullying in schools.