Homophobia is rife amongst a large number of school children, according to university research.

A Middlesex University reported, commissioned by the Haringey Safer Communities Partnership claims: “There exists a high level of homophobia among school age children.” The report is based on workshops with school children aged 12 to 13.

The head of the research, Dr Goodman said: “It was a very unsafe arena to talk about themselves in a way other than as heterosexual.”

The study notes that “on sexuality a more worrying picture emerged” and that a “lack of tolerance was experienced in more than one session” from both boys and girls.

Other conclusions were that “Justification for these attitudes came from biblical references and church teachings,”

It acknowledges that the council has been “pre-emptive in tackling homophobic bullying” and schools “were proactively tackling the subject of sexual orientation”. But adds there is still much work to do.

Councillor George Meehan, executive member for children and young people, told the Tottenham and Wood Green Journal: “Haringey takes the issue of all forms of discriminatory incidents in schools seriously. One incident is one too many.”

But he added: “It remains the case, however, that homophobic incidents are a small proportion of reported incidents.”