Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying is widespread in primary schools. In addition, primary school children come from a variety of backgrounds and families. Celebrating different families and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is crucial to making all children feel welcome, and enabling them to learn how to accept others for who they are.
Here you can find out more about why this is important, how you can work with Stonewall, and the resources we can offer you.
Why does it matter?
Stonewall's 2014 research, The Teachers' Report, revealed that:
- Half of primary school teachers who are aware of homophobic bullying in their schools say boys who ‘behave or act like girls’ are bullied and a third say boys who are not into sports are bullied.
- More than one in ten say that pupils whose parents or carers are gay are bullied, and one in five say that pupils who are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual are bullied.
- Seven in ten primary school teachers hear children say phrases like ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school. A third of primary school teachers hear children making homophobic remarks like ‘poof’, ‘dyke’, ‘queer’ and ‘faggot’.
'I felt picked on and the amount of times I went to see the teachers and they said, just ignore them, they'll get bored. They never did get bored.' Sacha, primary school pupil
'...a girl in Year 5 said 'you've got no dad and you've got two mums and I think you're really weird'. And I think I didn't even tell the teacher this time, I didn't even cry, I just walked away.' Alisha, 7
It's not only about bullying. It's important that all children feel included and that they are able to talk freely about their families. Stonewall's Different Families report found that when children with lesbian, gay or bisexual family members realise that their family isn't ever mentioned in class, and other children use the word ‘gay’ to mean 'rubbish', they feel excluded and stop talking about their family.
'When people say gay, I feel worse than other people...' Mark, 8
Exclusion can lead to children feeling they can't be themselves and may lead to lower aspirations and attainment out of fear of being bullied. If not addressed, this can lead to further problems and bullying at the secondary level.
Our Train the Trainer courses give you the tools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and gives you the confidence to train colleagues in your school to do the same. Find a course in your area and book now!
45 % of primary school teachers say that pupils at their school have experienced homophobic bullying
86 % of primary school teachers have not received any specific training on how to tackle homophobic bullying
Our primary school resources (including posters, stickers, teachers guides and book lists) give you tips and tools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, challenge gender stereotypes and celebrate different families in your primary school.
Get in touch
If you have any questions, or want to find out more about the work Stonewall does in primary schools, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7593 1881