Information for college governors
College governors play an essential role in making sure their colleges take appropriate measures to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying, harassment or discrimination.
Leading the way
As leaders in the college community, governors have a unique opportunity to support and direct a college’s efforts to tackle homophobic bullying. College governors should seek regular updates from the college principle on efforts to tackle prejudice based bullying such as homophobic bullying and make clear their support for these efforts. Governors can also act as role models for lesbian, gay and bisexual students and help to send out the message that the college is a welcoming place for all students.
Under the Equality Act 2010, college governors are responsible for making sure the college does not discriminate in the provision of education in their college. Governors are also responsible for making sure lesbian, gay and bisexual students are not excluded or subjected to any other harm because of their sexual orientation.
To make sure governors fulfil these responsibilities and play a leading role in combating homophobic bullying in their college, they need information and training to help them understand the role they play.
What you can do as a college governor:
- Make sure your college’s anti-bullying policy specifically includes homophobic bullying.
- Keep informed about your college’s work to combat homophobic bullying and ask for regular updates on this work from the college principal.
- Ask your principal to report to the governing body on a regular basis on the number of homophobic incidents and how the college dealt with them.
- Find out what training college staff receive to prevent and tackle homophobic bullying and support lesbian, gay and bisexual students.
- Involve the wider community, including local LGB groups and same-sex parents – through the governing body and otherwise – in the life of the college.
- Ask the principal how the curriculum addresses lesbian, gay and bisexual issues and includes gay people and how often this is reviewed.
- Have you and your governing body been provided with relevant training on homophobic bullying? Ask your Chair of Governors what training is available.
- Is your college signed up to Stonewall’s College Champions programme? The programme provides valuable support in anti-homophobic bullying, celebrating difference and supporting students.
Interested in becoming a college governor?
You don’t have to be a parent or carer to get involved in the life of your local college. Contact your local college to find out more about being a governor.