Investment has been pledged by the government to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
Some £2 million is to be offered to charitable and not-for-profit organisations that come forward with creative ideas to eliminate these types of behaviour, making a substantial difference to the lives of young people in Britain.
Bullying can have a significant long-term impact on people's lives, preventing them from reaching their full potential and acquiring the skills they need to succeed.
New research carried out by NatCen Social Research found that some schools already have initiatives in place that work well, including:
- Adopting a 'whole school' approach to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, with clear policies applied consistently.
- Covering relevant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in a way that young people can understand.
- Training for those in teaching jobs to give them more confidence to deal with LGBT issues.
- Ensuring victims are supported and perpetrators understand the consequences of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
While homophobic bullying incidents are reportedly in decline, more progress could be made. According to a recent report from Metro, the vast majority of LGBT young people experience name calling or abuse.
Schools have been told to take tough action on all forms of bullying and have appropriate policies in place to deal with this form of behaviour.
In 2012, the law was changed to strengthen the powers teachers have to enforce discipline and good behaviour. The government has provided advice to schools on their duties and legal powers, while other resources have been made available to help them put an end to bullying.
Jo Swinson, minister for women and equalities, said: "We know the damage bullies can cause to young people’s self-esteem and educational attainment. There should be absolutely no excuse for this taking place in our schools.
"I am excited to see the creative proposals that this fund will bring about, to make sure we can bring homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying to an end."
Posted by Theo Foulds