UK: Only one in eight teachers trained to deal with homophobic bullying

Nick Duffy July 4, 2014
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A poll has found that just one in eight teachers are trained to deal with homophobic bullying in schools.

The poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Stonewall, found that just 8 percent of primary teachers and 17 percent of secondary school teachers had received training on the measure.

In addition, 29 percent of secondary teachers and 37 percent of primary teachers said they were unsure if they were allowed to teach about LGBT issues.

Anna Williams, deputy head of Hackney New School, told Radio 4: “Homophobic bullying isn’t something that’s part of most schools’ programmes, and it’s certainly not something that’s part of teacher training programmes.

“Schools that deal with this successfully make sure that as part of their induction programmes for staff, this is one of the things that’s dealt with as a priority.

“It’s really about creating that culture in a school that shows this is unacceptable. You need to make sure every instance of homophobic language is challenged, [and] nipped in the bud early on.

“If you’re homophobicly bullied, it’s going to have an impact on your self-esteem and your education.

“We need teacher training providers to really step up, and make it part of their programme. There’s nothing about homophobic language.”

The poll also found that despite the lack of training, 66 percent of secondary teachers agree that homophobic bullying has a detrimental impact on pupils’ achievement and attainment.

Ruth Hunt said: “Teachers are the most powerful tool that we have in the fight to tackle homophobic bullying. Sadly our new research shows that, despite some progress, the legacy of Section 28 is lives on in Britain’s schools.

“We’ve seen what happens when schools fail to get to grips with teaching the realities of 21st century Britain.

“The Government must now make it a priority that every single teacher is trained to tackle all types of bullying and abuse in our schools.”

Only one in 10 London primary teachers said they knew they could discuss subjects such as same-sex parents with students.

More: abuse, Anti-gay, bullying, Education, Employment, England, Gay, Homophobia, homophobic, lesbian, London, Michael Gove, poll, school, Stonewall, teacher, training, YouGov

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