What you can do

School report Cymru 2017: More than half of LGBT young people still bullied

  • More than half of LGBT young people in Wales (54 per cent) and 73 per cent of trans young people still face bullying at school for being LGBT

  • Only a quarter of bullied LGBT pupils in Welsh schools say that teachers intervene, and three in five say they are never taught anything about LGBT issues

  • Two in five trans young people (41 per cent), and one in four lesbian, gay and bi pupils who are not trans (25 per cent) have tried to take their own life

Stonewall Cymru, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, has revealed that despite progress for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people, many LGBT young people are still at risk in Welsh schools.         

Conducted in partnership with the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, Stonewall’s School Report 2017 surveyed more than 3,700 lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people aged 11-19, including 267 living in Wales. The School Report Cymru 2017 is based on the responses of those participants living in Wales.

Findings from the report include:

  • More than half of LGBT young people in Wales (54 per cent) and 73 per cent of trans young people still face bullying at school for being LGBT
  • Nearly half who experience bullying never tell anyone about it (47 per cent)
  • Only a quarter of bullied LGBT pupils in Welsh schools say that teachers intervene, and three in five say they are never taught anything about LGBT issues
  • Three in four trans young people (77 per cent), and three in five lesbian, gay and bi pupils who are not trans (61 per cent) have deliberately harmed themselves.
  • Two in five trans young people (41 per cent), and one in four lesbian, gay and bi pupils who are not trans (25 per cent) have tried to take their own life
  • This new research must act as a wake-up call for schools, local authorities, government and politicians

Nearly all LGBT young people say that the internet has helped them understand more about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  Worryingly, for LGBT young people the online experience is not entirely positive, nearly all of them see offensive anti-LGBT content online, nearly half have been the target of online abuse and only three in five think that online platforms will do something about it if reported.

Trans pupils are at particular risk: many face harassment, bullying and violence, with 73 per cent experiencing bullying at school. More than half of trans young people say that they are not able to use the toilets they feel comfortable in at school, while two in five are not able to be known by their preferred name at school. Three in four trans young people have harmed themselves at some point.

Key recommendations:

  • Welsh Government should make LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education a mandatory part of the new curriculum.
  • All teachers, school staff and governors should be trained on tackling anti-LGBT bullying and supporting LGBT young people.
  • Estyn should play an active role in inspecting the extent to which schools provide a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT pupils.

Andrew White, Director, Stonewall Cymru said: ‘We often hear a great deal about how far Wales has come on LGBT rights, and how life has improved for our LGBT young people. This study shows that while some LGBT young people are accepted, for many bullying, discrimination and exclusion are part of their day to day lives.’

 ‘Reading the first-hand accounts of LGBT young people in Wales, many of which are quoted in this report, is devastating. The finding that a quarter of lesbian, gay and bi young pupils and two in five trans young people had attempted to take their own lives is a shocking wake up call.  It should leave no doubt whatsoever that action is needed urgently.’

 ‘In publishing these findings and recommendations our hope is that they will act as a call to action to all those involved in shaping, delivering and overseeing the learning experience of our future generations. There is absolutely no room for complacency: our work will continue until every young person can be accepted without exception.’

Read the full School Report Cymru, and find out what you can do to have a positive impact on the lives of LGBT young people, by visiting www.stonewallcymru.org.uk/schoolreportcymru