Here are a few links and resources we have found useful which we hope will also help you support LGBTQ+ young people in your setting.
Schools are ideally placed to talk to pupils about sexual orientation and how to challenge homophobia, as they make a significant contribution to the development of values and attitudes in young children that are likely to be resistant to change in adulthood. Relationship and sex education (RSE) teaches young people to understand human sexuality and to respect the sexual orientation of others.
RSE Education Guidance for teachers explains how to approach issues such as sexual orientation with honesty and sensitivity and how to deal with pupils' questions and offer support.
A few key points from the Stonewall's report of 2017 on the experiences of young gay people in schools, including those in Somerset.
BULLYING AND LANGUAGE
• Nearly half of lesbian, gay, bi and trans pupils (45 per cent) – including 64 per cent of trans pupils – are bullied for being LGBT at school
• The majority of LGBT pupils – 86 per cent – regularly hear phrases such as ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school
• Nearly one in ten trans pupils (nine per cent) are subjected to death threats at school
• Almost half of LGBT pupils (45 per cent) who are bullied for being LGBT never tell anyone about the bullying
HOW SCHOOLS RESPOND
• Fewer than a third of bullied LGBT pupils (29 per cent) say that teachers intervened when they were present during the bullying •
Seven in ten LGBT pupils (68 per cent) report that teachers or school staff only ‘sometimes’ or ‘never’ challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language when they hear it
• Seven in ten LGBT pupils (68 per cent) report that their schools say homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong, but just four in ten (41 per cent) report that their schools say transphobic bullying is wrong
• Two in five LGBT pupils (40 per cent) are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school
• Just one in five LGBT pupils (20 per cent) have learnt about safe sex in relation to same-sex relationships
• Three in four LGBT pupils (76 per cent) have never learnt about bisexuality at school
• Three in four LGBT pupils (77 per cent) have never learnt about gender identity and what ‘trans’ means at school SUPPORT
• More than half of LGBT pupils (53 per cent) say that there isn’t an adult at school they can talk to about being LGBT
• Just four per cent of LGBT pupils know of an openly bi member of staff, and three per cent know of one who is openly trans. One in four LGBT pupils (27 per cent) know of an openly gay member of staff, and 22 per cent know of an openly lesbian member of staff
• More than two in five trans pupils (44 per cent) say that staff at their school are not familiar with the term ‘trans’ and what it means
• One in three trans pupils (33 per cent) are not able to be known by their preferred name at school, while three in five (58 per cent) are not allowed to use the toilets they feel comfortable inNearly half of lesbian, gay, bi and trans pupils -including 64% of trans pupils - are bullied for being LGBTQ+ in school
How does this affect LGBTQ+ students?
You can download the full report from the Stonewall website
Challenging homophobic language
Stonewall's Education Guide on Challenging homophobic language provides information and advice for primary and secondary school staff.
Challenging homophobic language doesn't have to be time-consuming or difficult. This guide includes how you can respond to and prevent homophobic language and Stonewall's top ten recommendations for tackling homophobic language. It also provides top ten tips and features good practice examples from Stonewall Education Champions. Visit their website for these resources and much more www.stonewall.org.uk