Stonewall Cymru's research shows that homophobic bullying is endemic in Britain's schools, ninety nine per cent of young gay people hear the phrases ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school. Local authorities play a key role in addressing lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) bullying.
We work with local authorities through the Education Champions programme to provide bespoke support and advice on helping their local schools. Through a partnership with Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBT equality charity, local authorities work to establish ways to address LGBT bullying in primary and secondary school and promote a safe and inclusive learning environment for all children and young people.
Since the programme was launched in Wales in 2014, a third of the local authorities in Wales have joined as Education Champions and shown their commitment to addressing the endemic problem of LGBT bullying in schools.
Why should my Local Authority join?
You will be prepared for Estyn inspections and other legal requirements. The Equality Act 2010 introduced for the first time, a duty on public bodies requiring them to actively tackle issues such as homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and the protection of those who might experience it. Being part of the programme will help to ensure you are complying with the Act. During inspections of local authorities, inspectors from Estyn evaluate the extent to which all young people with additional needs are cared for, treated fairly and with respect, and listened to. They look at anti-bullying policies and how the authority promotes equality and diversity. Inspectors also evaluate how the well being needs of all young people are being met by the authority. If bullying or unfair treatment are found to have an adverse impact on young people’s health and well being, learning or achievement, this will be taken into account in deciding the overall evaluation and recommendations.
We address where there are needs through consultancy work and provide local authorities with an action plan for our partnership together which means that you will help your schools and students reach their full potential. Celebrating difference and tackling LGBT bullying helps to promote an environment for students that is conducive to optimal learning and development. LGBT bullying can have a profoundly damaging impact on young people’s 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 LGBT bullying, you can help push your schools and students further.
You will empower your staff. It can be challenging to tackle homophobic bullying and gender stereotyping in schools. Nine out of ten secondary school teachers say they not received any specific training on how to tackle homophobic bullying. Stonewall Cymru can empower your teachers by giving expert and tailored advice.
Local Authorities are huge service providers for their own areas and with our support, you can provide strong leadership and consistency to schools.