A new contract has been awarded to The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to undertake the first stage of a project to eradicate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
Announced in November 2013, the scheme was devised to reduce this type of bullying and mitigate its impact on children and youngsters.
Bids were invited from a range of organisations to carry out this phase of the initiative and NatCen was successful. It will now conduct a full review of all the available evidence and existing practices currently in place in schools to address this issue.
NatCen carries out social research that can help government and charities with their decision-making processes.
The organisation uses policy sector specialists, survey methodologists, data analysts and expert quantitative and qualitative researchers to carry out its studies.
Minister for women and equalities Jenny Willott said homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying "can seriously affect children’s health and well-being, lead to poor educational performance and prevent them getting ahead in life".
"Young people should be able to go to school without fear of bullying or discrimination. We expect schools to take a strong stand against all forms of bullying and to deal with incidents quickly when they occur," she added.
According to a recent survey by Youth Chances, 49 per cent of LGBT youngsters said their time at school was affected by discrimination or fear of discrimination.
Ms Willott said the project will enable the creation of evidence-based practices that will help to eradicate this form of bullying.
Michelle Gray, project research director at NatCen, said the organisation is "delighted" to have been selected to work on the initiative. She said it has assembled a team with understanding and experience of the subject area.
Bullying made headlines earlier this month, when a study found that it could continue to affect people's health well into later life.
Researchers from King's College London found victims of bullying were more likely to suffer from depression, unemployment and ill health up to 40 years later.
The study focussed on nearly 8,000 children born in 1958 from the age of seven until they reached 50, recording the physical and mental health of those who had experienced bullying between the ages of seven and 11.
It said the experience of those who had been bullied was similar to that experienced by children who are taken into care.
Those who had been bullied were more likely to have low educational levels, while men who had suffered the abuse were more likely to be unemployed or to earn less than their peers.
Posted by Alan Douglas