Most teachers not trained to deal with anti-gay bullying, report finds

LGBT campaign group SchoolsOUT calls for UK schools to better equip teachers to tackle homophobic bullying following Ofsted report

Most teachers not trained to deal with anti-gay bullying, report finds
20 June 2012

Campaigners are calling for UK schools to do more to tackle homophobic bullying following a report which found many staff are not sufficiently trained to deal with the problem.

Ofsted’s No Place For Bullying report, published yesterday (19 June), revealed that most anti-bullying training in schools was too general and failed to focus on specifics, leading to many teachers feeling ill-equipped to tackle incidents of homophobia.

Inspectors from Britain’s education watchdog also found that casual use of anti-gay language was common in many of the schools visited.

In 25 primary schools and 15 secondary schools, ‘gay’ was used to refer to something being ‘rubbish’.

Staff members in most of the schools said they heard the word ‘gay’ being used in this way on a weekly basis.

While many pupils were reportedly well aware that such language was not acceptable, it was often seen as ‘just banter’.

SchoolsOUT, which campaigns for the safety of LGBT pupils in Britain, urged schools to teach more diversity in the curriculum to help address the problem of anti-gay bullying.

‘We’ve said since the year dot that our schools are not safe spaces for our children or our LGBT communities,’ said SchoolsOUT spokesman Sue Sanders.

She adds that a recent survey by Kirklees and Lancashire NUT groups into the prevalence of homophobia in schools showed that teachers want training on diversity and her group provides tools which help staff to do this.

‘It’s all out there,’ Sanders said. ‘This survey shows there is a need to adopt it and put it into everyday practice.’

However, Ofsted’s study, which was based on discussions with 1,357 pupils and 797 staff, also found that most of the schools visited had a positive culture and most pupils were considerate of each other.

But admitted in some schools ‘the analysis of behavior and bullying was not always as sharp as it should be.’

Ofsted director of education and care, Susan Gregory, said: ‘Schools must develop a positive culture so all pupils learn in a happy and safe environment.

‘Teachers should receive the right training and support so they have the skills and confidence to teach pupils about diversity and the effects of bullying.

‘This report shows many examples where action to tackle bullying has been very effective and I hope this best practice can be emulated by other schools.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Jamaica Health Minister: Anti-gay laws must change for ‘greater good’

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says Jamaica must keep pace with international opinion and backs ‘buggery law’ review
No thumbnail available

Gays can't be 'heroes and wizards' says fan page

Russian firm Expedition's Facebook fan page claims homosexuality will lead to extinction of human race after quizzed on retailer's ban on gay applicants
No thumbnail available

WNBA player Sharnee Zoll-Norman comes out publicly as a lesbian

'I wear my wedding ring proudly; I have matching tattoos with my wife'
No thumbnail available

Video of 'beaten and raped' gay man in Russia surfaces online

Clips of anti-gay attack appear on social media tool WhatsApp
No thumbnail available

Gay marriage play '8' to air on radio

Performance that starred Brad Pitt and George Clooney will air on radio to celebrate Gay Pride Month
No thumbnail available

Alabama Supreme Court to hear petition against same-sex marriages

Roy Moore, the court's chief justice, does not support marriage equality and advised probate judges not to issue certificates to same-sex couples
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Global gay love triangle ends in stabbing murder

A Qatar man has plead not guilty to fatally stabbing his American love rival's partner in Australia 14 times
No thumbnail available

Delaware's Attorney General Beau Biden wants legal protections for transgender people

Cites the personal experiences of a transgender friend in his call for action
No thumbnail available

Barrowman launches video campaign to support gay rights

John Barrowman teams up with the Kaleidoscope Trust to launch a video campaign for global LGBT rights