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Secondary School Overview

Homophobic language and bullying is widespread in UK secondary schools. Ninety percent of secondary school teachers say pupils in their schools are bullied, harassed or called names for being – or perceived to be – lesbian, gay or bisexual. Three quarters of gay pupils report experiencing verbal abuse; and almost three-in-ten report being physically bullied.

The good news is that things are improving. Over the past five years, the proportion of gay pupils who report that their schools take homophobic bullying seriously has increased markedly. At the same time, the number of gay pupils who feel unable to speak out about being bullied has declined.

Our research shows that secondary schools which take an active, positive approach to tackling homophobic language and bullying get the best results. This is what Secondary School Champions offers to your school: a partnership with Stonewall, Europe’s largest gay equality charity, aimed at creating a safe and welcoming learning environment for pupils of all backgrounds.

Morley Academy's display
A wall display at Morley Academy, a secondary school in Yorkshire.

Why should my school join?

  • You will be prepared for Ofsted and other legal requirements. Stonewall has extensive expertise at helping secondary schools understand their Ofsted and other legal requirements when it comes to tackling homophobic language and bullying. Under the new 2012 framework, Ofsted inspectors now ask secondary students whether their schools have taught them about how to respond to cases of homophobic language and bullying, and about different families - including children with same-sex parents. Secondary schools are also required by the Equality Act 2010 to actively protect those who might experience homophobic bullying. Because Stonewall has trained Ofsted’s lead inspectors and advised the government on the Equality Act, we are perfectly placed to help you navigate these duties.
  • You will help your students reach their potential. Celebrating difference and tackling homophobic bullying helps to promote an environment for students that is conducive to optimal learning and development. Homophobic bullying can have a profoundly damaging impact on young people’s secondary school experience. A third of gay pupils experience bullying which leads them to change their future educational plans and three in five say it harms their academic performance. By working with Stonewall to mitigate the worst harms of homophobic bullying, you can help push your students towards their academic goals.
  • You will empower your staff. It can be challenging to tackle homophobic bullying and gender stereotyping in secondary schools. Nine out of ten secondary school teachers say they not received any specific training on how to tackle homophobic bullying. Stonewall can empower your teachers by giving expert and tailored advice.

 

Call our education team on 020 7593 1871 or email education@stonewall.org.uk if you have any questions at all.

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