£1.8m to ‘eradicate’ homophobic bullying

The government has released £1.8 million to train teachers to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying.

Eight groups, including Barnado’s, Show Racism the Red Card and the National Children’s Bureau, will share the money.

Diversity Role Models, in collaboration with sexual health charity Brook, will receive £277,000 to provide training to 10,000 teachers and staff across 40 schools. The training aims to give them the skills and confidence to tackle HBT bullying.

Suran Dickson, chief executive officer of Diversity Role Models, said: “HBT bullying can affect all students who don’t conform to certain stereotypes, regardless of whether they are in fact lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

“Diversity Role Models is delighted to have been given this grant so we and Brook can work with schools on this exciting project, to increase staff’s confidence in tackling this type of bullying, and to make schools safer and better places to learn.”

Stonewall, a leading charity for LGBT rights, and former employer of Nicky Morgan’s special adviser Luke Tryll, received almost £500,000, the biggest share of the funding.

The group will use the money to extend its “train the trainer” course with 60 partner organisations, enabling many more workers in schools to learn skills for tackling HBT bullying.

Mr Tryll had no involvement in the selection process. All awards were granted through an open competitive application process, and the Department for Education (DfE) and the Government Equalities Office will use a further £200,000 to carry out an independent evaluation.

Stonewall has said 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people surveyed had experienced homophobic bullying, down from 65 per cent in 2009.

Last year it said that 86 per cent of secondary and 45 per cent of primary school teachers had seen homophobic bullying of pupils.

Women and equalities minister Jo Swinson said: “It’s good news that schools are making progress on homophobic bullying, but it must be eradicated entirely.

“The trauma of being bullied at school can stay with you for life, and it is absolutely unacceptable that those who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender are being targeted. Teachers need specialist support and training to help them stamp out homophobic bullying, which is why we have funded these excellent projects which are designed to tackle this issue head on.”

The groups:

Anne Frank Trust.

£104,894 to run workshops educating young people about prejudice and impact of the Holocaust on LGB people

Barnardo’s.

£263,218 to provide face-to-face support for HBT bullying victims in Leeds and Wakefield

Diversity Role Models with Brook.

£277,722 to deliver teacher training

EACH.

£189,304 to deliver training across Avon and Somerset

Educate & Celebrate.

£214,048 to train staff in 60 schools to address HBT bullying

National Children’s Bureau.

£128,754 to train 1500 teachers

Show Racism the Red Card.

£119,557 to hold workshops with 2,000 young people at football clubs and run a film competition

Stonewall.

£465,594 to extend and share “train the trainer” course with 60 organisations