With support from the Department for Education and Government Equalities Office, we are working to actively reduce incidents of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying in primary and secondary schools, through our new project, Learn Equality, Live Equal.
A new partnership between the Anti-bullying Alliance (ABA), Sex Education Forum (SEF) and Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH) will deliver the programme, which supports schools to take a whole school approach to preventing HBT bullying, and to tackle it effectively when it does occur.
Despite significant progress in new legislation and the increased representation of LGB&T (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia remain significant issues in the UK. We also know that young people who identify as LGB&T, are more likely to experience bullying, which can impact their educational attainment, emotional wellbeing and lead to truancy.
Discrimination often starts at school, which is why we developed Learn Equality, Live Equal with funding from Department for Education and Government Equalities Office. The programme is being delivered in the East Midlands, West Midlands, South West and East of England, and reaches schools who have not previously done significant work to address HBT bullying. We ask the schools we work with to take a whole school approach to change. We believe that by training school staff to share their learning across their whole organisations, it reaches every staff member and pupil.
Schools taking part are offered two training routes:
- Knowledge and Skill Development: training for school staff to increase their confidence and competence when tackling HBT bullying. Online training modules to share their knowledge with colleagues across the school.
- Delivering in Practice: Bespoke, one-to-one support to engage pupils, develop policy and curriculum changes and equip staff over a full school year. Tailored training to meet the needs of each school.
Launched in April 2017 we will be running this programme until March 2019. To ensure the learning from this project is shared as widely as possible Sheffield Hallam University will carry out an independent evaluation at the end of the programme. Their report is expected to be published in March 2019. The key findings will help inform government policy and build the sectors understanding on how to reduce the incidence of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.