What you can do

At school

Your rights

The Equality Act 2010 made it illegal for parents and children to be discriminated against within school.

Schools cannot refuse to take a pupil because they or their parents are gay or trans. Schools cannot deny gay or trans pupils opportunities and facilities that they would offer to other students, for example, the chance to be head girl.

All schools have a responsibility to ensure that all pupils can learn in a safe environment however Stonewall's School Report (2012) found:

Homophobic and transphobic bullying continues to be widespread in Britain’s schools.

  • More than half (55 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils have experienced direct bullying. The use of homophobic language is endemic.
  • Almost all (99 per cent) gay young people hear the phrases ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school and 96 per cent of gay pupils hear homophobic language such as ‘poof’ or ‘lezza’.
  • Three in five gay pupils who experience homophobic bullying say that teachers who witness the bullying never intervene.
  • Only half of gay pupils report that their schools say homophobic bullying is wrong, even fewer do in faith schools (37 per cent). Homophobic bullying has a profoundly damaging impact on young people’s school experience.

For more information download the full report:

The School Report (2012)

What should I do if I think a pupil is trans?

You might think that a pupil is trans, but until they tell you how they feel, you can’t know. Steer clear of prying though, you want them to know they can come to you in their own time. What you can do is listen to and respect their decisions about how they want to express themselves and their gender – respecting if they prefer a nickname, for example, and making sure the school doesn't pressure them to wear gendered clothing.

More guidance for teachers and education professionals