the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity

The Teachers' Report

Teachers' perspective on homophobic bullying in Britain's primary and secondary schools (2009)

Key Findings:

  • Nine in ten secondary school teachers and more than two in five primary school teachers (44 per cent) say children and young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, currently experience homophobic bullying, name calling or harassment in their schools.
  • Secondary school teachers say that homophobic bullying is the second most frequent form of bullying (happening ‘very often’ or ‘often’) after bullying because of weight and three times more prevalent than bullying due to religion or ethnicity.
  • In addition to direct bullying, 95 per cent of secondary school teachers and three quarters of primary school teachers report hearing the phrases ‘you’re so gay’ or ‘that’s so gay’ in their schools. Eight in ten secondary school teachers and two in five primary school teachers report hearing other insulting homophobic remarks such as ‘poof’, ‘dyke’, ‘queer’ and ‘faggot’.
  • Nine in ten teachers and non-teaching staff at secondary and primary schools have never received any specific training on how to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying.
  • More than a quarter of secondary school staff (28 per cent) would not feel confident in supporting a pupil who decided to come out to them as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Two in five would not feel confident in providing pupils with information, advice and guidance on lesbian and gay issues.
  • Half of secondary school teachers who are aware of homophobic bullying in their schools say the vast majority of incidents go unreported.

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