School governors play an essential role - they make sure their schools take appropriate measures to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying.
Stonewall's 2009 research, The Teachers' Report, revealed that only a quarter of primary and secondary school teachers in England and Wales say their school governors demonstrate a clear leadership role when it comes to tackling homophobic bullying.
Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 school governors have a duty to promote the wellbeing of all children and young people in their care. This includes any child or young person who experiences homophobic bullying.
To make sure schools fulfill their responsibility to prevent and tackle homophobic bullying and to support lesbian, gay and bisexual young people, school governors need information and training to help them understand the role they play.
What you can do as a school governor:
- Make sure your school’s anti-bullying policy specifically includes homophobic bullying.
- Ask your headteacher to update the governing body on a regular basis on the number of homophobic bullying incidents and how the school dealt with them.
- Find out what training school staff receive to prevent and tackle homophobic bullying and support lesbian, gay and bisexual young people.
- Involve parents – through the governing body and otherwise – in the life of the school. This includes parents in same sex relationships.
- Ask the headteacher how the curiculum addresses different families and lesbian, gay and bisexual issues in an age-appropriate way and check again when the policy is updated.
- 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 local authority signed up to Stonewall’s Education Champions programme? Is your school signed up to our School Champions programme? Both provide valuable support in anti-homophobic bullying.
Interested in becoming a school governor?
You don’t have to be a parent to get involved in the life of your local school. Contact your local authority to find out more about being a school governor.