UK Launches £1 Million Program To Combat Homophobia In Schools

Teachers will receive training on how to spot the early signs of homophobic bullying.

A child playing hopscotch

As part of a new program launched by the UK government to improve the lives of its LGBT+ citizens, it has been announced that £1 million will be invested in tackling homophobia in schools.

Teachers will receive training on how to both recognise the early signs of homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying and how to intervene appropriately. Lessons on LGBT+ issues will also be given, opening conversations and making LGBT+ students feel accepted and protected.

Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, to love who they love, and to live their lives without judgement or fear. That’s why this government is stepping up its work to tackle bullying in schools, to protect more children and to stop hatred from festering and growing into discrimination in adulthood. The aim of our Action Plan is that everyone can live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.”

Along with the schools program, the UK will also make available £1 million for organisations to improve LGBT+ people’s health and social care. The inspiration for this came from the results of the LGBT Survey which revealed that 16% of those who took part had a negative experience of trying to access healthcare services because of their sexual orientation. More than 50% also reported overlong wait lists for accessing mental health services.

A further £600,000 will go towards a new LGBT Sector and Community Development Scheme to assist community groups in engaging their local LGBT+ citizens and to help them become more sustainable. The LGBT+ Survey also revealed that queer people experience daily prejudice.

At the start of October, in Irish schools INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group launched and distributed the ‘LGBT+ Inclusive Staffroom‘ guidelines which would support and advance the cause of LGBT+ teachers in primary schools nationwide.

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