Schools: Anti-Semitism and Homophobia

House of Lords written question – answered on 19th July 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Deech Baroness Deech Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further steps they will be taking to tackle the risk of anti-semitism and homophobia in part-time and alternative school provision.

Photo of Lord Hill of Oareford Lord Hill of Oareford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Government are committed to tackling all forms of bullying, particularly that motivated by prejudice of any kind. We recently published updated advice on preventing and tackling bullying. It is aimed at all teaching staff including professionals working in pupil referral units (PRUs) and other alternative provision. We would expect all providers to have regard to it when developing their anti-bullying strategies.

In addition to maintained schools, PRUs are required to have a behaviour policy. The teacher in charge of a PRU must determine a behaviour policy with a view to encouraging good behaviour and in particular preventing all forms of bullying among pupils.

The Equality Act 2010 requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation-for example, on the grounds of race, disability and sexual orientation. Schools, including PRUs, are now required to comply with the duty.

We are working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organisations and the cross-Government working group on anti-Semitism to ensure that the concerns of the gay and Jewish communities are reflected in our approach.

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