The charity Schools OUT, which works to combat homophobic bullying in schools, has welcomed the Home Office’s new guidance to schools, but has said that overall the government “must do better.”
Gay activists have questioned why the Department for Education and Skills was not involved in the campaign.
Paul Patrick, Co-Chair of Schools OUT, told PinkNews.co.uk , “We are always pleased when any government department raises LGBT issues and education, but it is somewhat dispiriting that this seems to occur anywhere but in the DfES.
“They continue to follow the largely discredited anti-homophobic bullying route, ignoring a more holistic, and where it has been used, far more successful strategy.”
Schools OUT also criticised the DfES for refusing to give additional funding to LGBT History Month, or to inform teachers of the availability of resources, such as assembly and lesson suggestions delineated by Key Stage, which are available online at www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk
Schools OUT has been working towards equality in education for LGBT people since 1974.
“It is typical that they should raise these issues for heavily committed teachers who wish to do their best for all their pupils without giving them the tools to do so,” said Mr Patrick.
“Homophobic language and behaviour needs clear and appropriate definition. Whilst the BBC and others bizarrely declare that the use of the word “gay” to mean dysfunctional is not homophobic, the Government needs to join LGBT organisations, the teachers’ unions, children’s charities and most teachers in affirming that it is and its continued use in schools creates a hostile environment for all pupils, parents and staff.”