Scottish schools must do more to combat homophobic bullying, a report claims.

The Scottish Executive study found a “long list of damaging and distressing” homophobic incidents and concluded that “anti-homophobia is not seen as a priority by many schools.”

It said: “Some of the young people who were experiencing or had experienced homophobic bullying had a huge lack of confidence in staff, and this had an impact on rates of reporting.”

Calum Irving, director of gay charity, Stonewall Scotland, reacted to the report on The Scotsman website, “What this report highlights is the sheer scale and ferocity of homophobic bullying – more young people had experienced violent homophobic bullying than verbal.

“It also illustrates vividly that schools don’t know where to start in tackling the problem and are looking for help. Set that alongside the very real and disturbing stories of what young people have gone through and it would take a cold heart indeed to not want to tackle this problem head on.”