Safer School Partnership Officers, LGBT Liaison Officers, Partnership Community Officers and all other officers play an important part in preventing homophobic bullying and hate crime.

School Champions logoDo you know a school which needs support in tackling homophobic bullying and celebrating difference? Find out about Stonewall's School Champions programme.

Homophobic bullying and language are endemic

Fifty-five per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people say they have experienced homophobic bullying. Almost all (99 per cent) say they hear the words 'that's so gay' or 'you're so gay' in school (The School Report). However, school staff often don't recognise homophobic bullying when it happens.

Anyone can experience homophobic bullying

Young people experience homophobic bullying for being perceived as different and teachers say that homophobic bullying is the most common form of homophobic bullying after bullying because of weight (The Teachers' Report).

The forms of bullying

  • 53% experiencing verbal abuse
  • 31% are ignored or isolate
  • 23% experiance cyberbullying
  • 16% have experienced physical abuse
  • 6% receiving death threats

Anti-bullying policies don’t include homophobic bullying

Even though homophobic bullying is the most common form of bullying after bullying because of weight and three times more prevalent than bullying because of race (The Teachers’ Report). However, if students are told homophobic bullying is wrong, lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils are far less likely to be homophobically bullied (The School Report).

Homophobic bullying is underreported 

Half of secondary school teachers who are aware of homophobic bullying say the vast majority of incidences goes unreported. (The Teachers’ Report) Young lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) people say that if homophobic bullying is reported 62 per cent of the time nothing is done. (The School Report)

School staff don’t feel confident challenging

More than one quarter does not feel confident in supporting a student who wants to come out and 2 in 5 don’t feel confident providing information, advice and guidance on LGB issues. (The Teachers' Report)

What officers can do

Safer School Partnership Officers, LGBT Liaison Officers, and Partnership Community Officers are in a unique position to

  • Raise awareness within the school/community of homophobic bullying by getting hold of some of our resources like the Some people are gay. Get over it! stickers, posters and postcards.
  • Support the school in their efforts to prevent and tackle homophobic bullying
  • Signpost school staff and students to resources about homophobic bullying.
  • Support lesbian, gay and bisexual young people and those who are being homophobically bullied.
  • Find out whether the local authority is a member of the Education Champions programme
  • Liaise with colleagues from other areas and schools to share good practise.

If you would like to get in touch and share good practice, e-mail education@stonewall.org.uk 


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