Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, announced a new funding stream to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
The British Conservative Party politician has pledged £1 million (€1.2) for this project. This additional funding will be used with the £2 million (€2.5) the government appropriated last year to maintain eight programs that are providing support and training on tackling homophobic and transphobic to schools across the country.
According to research by the charity Stonewall, over half of lesbian, gay, and bisexual secondary students experience homophobic bullying. Nine out of ten hear anti-gay language in the hallways.
This leads to more than a quarter of those students surveyed having attempted suicide.
‘Even a single child having their time at school blighted because of bullying is a tragedy,’ Morgan said in a 6 March release announcing the initiative. ‘That’s why as both Minister for Equalities and Secretary of State for Education I am determined to do all I can to consign homophobic and transphobic bullying to the dustbin of history.’
‘Today’s announcement will allow this vital work to continue and help even more schools to end this bullying once and for all,’ she added.
The success of the ventures that were funded last year led to the decision to add more financial backing. Derby Moor Community Sports College has over 100 students selected as anti-bullying ambassadors, who host clubs where peers can talk about online harassment and other bullying concerns.The Caludon Castle School, located in Coventry, has been working with Stonewall to create an app where students can anonymously report bullying.
‘This Department for Education funding is crucial to this aim because it enables us to make connections with schools and colleges in communities we haven’t worked with yet, and to help them create inclusive environments where all their pupils, no matter who they are, are accepted and encouraged to reach their potential,’ Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s chief executive, said in a statement.