Our Diversity in Schools project started in autumn 2012, with the aim to challenge primary schools in Bristol to step up to the mark in addressing equality and inclusion, both in the curriculum and in the school. Regrettably the project could not secure sufficient funding to launch fully and closed in 2015. Below are some of the findings from the preliminary research conducted by the Project Leader, Sarah-Louise Minter.
Two out of five (20%)
primary school teachers say children experience homophobic bullying in their schools
Three quarters (33%)
of primary school teachers hear children use expressions such as that’s so gay or you’re so gay
Two out of five (20%)
primary school teachers hear children using homophobic language such as poof or dyke
The Teachers’ Report, Stonewall, 2008
This five-year project addressed the needs of LGBT families*, enabling them to find out how their local schools are progressing and to set up or join a school-based support group.
School that took part in the project were offered:
- Ofsted-ready equality policies and anti-bullying procedures
- A school based support group for LGBT families, staff and governors
- A Bristol-wide network of support groups
- Any entry in a schools database showing progress and achievement, including Ofsted reports
- Materials to help teach and integrate LGBT inclusion in the curriculum and classroom
- Local best practice to share
* What is an LGBT family?
- where one or both parents are LGB or T;
- where the child or its sibling/s is/are LGB or T are perceived to be, or are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity;
- where the child is looked after by other family members or guardians (private fostering) who are LGB or T;
- where the child is adopted or fostered by an LGB or T family;
- where any other family member is LGB or T;
- where the child may have any number of people that they regard as their parents, and any number of them is LGB or T, irrespective of the relationship between the adults;
- where the child may reside in more than one home, in which any of the above applies;
- any combination of the above.
Teachers need to feel they can come out too, so children have positive role models and parents need to talk to their children about being gay – to tell them that homophobic bullying affects everyone.”
Paola Crouch, mother of Dominic Crouch, a boy who took his own life after homophobic bullying at school
We need to send the message that homophobic bullying, of any kind and of any child, is unacceptable. No child should have to suffer disruption, victimisation or fear as a result of bullying, whether on or off school premises.”
Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, July 2011