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New Stonewall report publishes experiences of LGBT pupils in Britain's schools

Stonewall has published new research with the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge into the experiences of over 3,700 lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) pupils in Britain's schools. The study shows that while progress has been made over the last decade, many LGBT young people continue to face significant challenges in Britain's schools. 

The report makes for sombre reading with LGBT pupils stating a number of prevelant issues including school bullying, a reluctance in challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and self harm. 

Key findings

  • Nearly half of LGBT pupils (45%) – including 64% of trans pupils – are bullied for being LGBT in Britain's schools. This is down from 55% of lesbian, gay and bi pupils who experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation in 2012 and 65% in 2007   
  • Half of LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs 'frequently' or 'often' at school, down from seven in 10 in 2012.
  • Half of bullied LGBT pupils (52%) feel that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying has had a negative effect on their plans for future education.
  • Seven in 10 LGBT pupils report that their school says that homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong, up from half in 2012 and a quarter in 2007. However, just two in five LGBT pupils report that their schools say that transphobic bullying is wrong.
  • Seven in 10 LGBT pupils (68%) report that teachers or school staff only 'sometimes' or 'never' challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language when they hear it
  • Two in five LGBT pupils (40%) are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school
  • Just 4% of LGBT pupils know of an openly bi member of staff, and 3% know of one who is openly trans. One in four LGBT pupils (27%) know of an openly gay member of staff, and 22% know of an openly lesbian member of staff.
  • Just one in five LGBT pupils have been taught about safe sex in relation to same-sex relationships
  • One in three trans pupils (33%) are not able to be known by their preferred name at school, while three in five (58%) are not allowed to use the toilets they feel comfortable in
  • More than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren't trans
  • More than two in five trans young people have attempted to take their own life, and one in five lesbian, gay and bi students who aren't trans have done the same

About the data

  • The report is based on the results of an online questionnaire completed by 3,713 LGBT young people aged 11-19 between November 2016 and February 2017.
  • All differences reported in the survey are statistically significant.

You can read the full report here.

You may also be interested in reading NAHT President, Anne Lyons's recent blog for TES where she outlines the importance of a zero tolerance approach to homophobic and transphobic bullying. 

First published 05 January 2018