I could not agree more. He is absolutely right: LGBT bullying in our schools is a scourge, and we need to do all we can to stamp it out.
“Keeping children safe in education” is a very important piece of guidance for schools. The teachers I speak to welcome and praise it, which, as many of us know, is unusual when it comes to guidance for schools. The extension is necessary because schools want it. It gives clarity to apprenticeship providers and new T-level providers. It ensures inter-agency working, which is so important in stopping abuse, tying together police, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities. We need to deal with abuse in the round, and the extension of the guidance to apprenticeship providers and others is critical.
This will also act as an early warning system when abuse is taking place. The guidance makes it clear that this is not just about intervening when abuse has happened, but getting in there beforehand. That means being wary and looking out for the signs, and signposting the support that is available to teachers, to ensure that they flag it, so that nothing worse happens to the child.
It is important that we bring in the parents. As I said at the beginning of my remarks, I think many parents will be surprised that this measure is not already in place, but many parents are not aware of the safeguarding procedures in schools and further education at the moment. We all have a role to play in ensuring that they are more aware of those procedures and the support that can be provided by teachers and others in schools.
I also want to make a plea for more training for staff. We all know from schools in our patches that this is becoming more and more of a burden for teachers. There is very good guidance available, and training is mandatory, but the Government could provide more help with the training provided for teachers to ensure that they are fully aware of the support available to them and that this very good piece of legislation is used to its full effect.