Pupils: LGBT+ People

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th September 2022.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential implications for his policies of research on LGBT+ bullying in schools by the charity Just Like Us.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to reduce LGBT+ bullying in schools.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Minister of State (Education)

The department is aware of the report published by Just Like Us in 2021, which made specific points about the higher incidence of LGBT pupils being bullied and the importance of positive LGBT messaging in schools to pupils’ mental health.

Bullying should never be tolerated, and the department is committed to supporting schools to tackle it. All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying and have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies and monitoring approaches to best suit their environment. The department provides advice for schools, which outlines schools’ responsibilities. This advice makes clear that schools should make appropriate provision for a bullied child's social, emotional and mental health needs. The advice is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

The department is providing over £2 million of funding, between 10 August 2021 and 31 March 2023, to five anti-bullying organisations to support schools to tackle bullying. This includes projects targeting bullying of particular groups, such as those who are victims of hate-related bullying and homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying.

The Relationships, Sex and Health Education statutory guidance states that all pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching. Primary schools are strongly encouraged and enabled, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same sex parents.

We have published ‘Respectful School Communities’, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline. The review can be found here: https://educateagainsthate.com/resources/respectful-school-communities-self-review-signposting-tool-2/. This tool can help to combat bullying, harassment, and prejudice of any kind, including hate-based bullying.

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