The conference, kindly supported by Prudential, is Britain’s leading conference on preventing and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in education. Key announcements on the day included the launch of the Stonewall Training Partners Programme.
This new programme will see Stonewall, working alongside Gendered Intelligence, provide training to 60 organisations across England, enabling them to directly coach schools in their communities to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. A diverse mix of partner organisations have been selected in order to reach pupils from all different backgrounds, geographical areas and communities. They include local authorities, Teaching Schools, charities, LGBT groups and faith-based organisations, including Church of England dioceses.
Stonewall also announced the winners of its 2015 Education Equality Index at the conference. Bath & North East Somerset, Herts for Learning (Hertfordshire City Council) and Cambridgeshire County Council took the top three spots on the Index, which benchmarks local authority organisations and evaluates how well they are tackling homophobic and biphobic bullying.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘Young people are still being teased, bullied and tormented because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s vital that teaching professionals are equipped with the right tools to prevent and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, as well as understanding how to foster an inclusive learning environment for all students. More than eight in ten secondary school teachers, and nine in ten primary school teachers, haven’t received specific training on tackling homophobic bullying.
‘Stonewall’s work with schools and local authorities will not stop until all children are able to be themselves freely without fear of bullying or isolation; be it the young trans person left out by classmates for being ‘different’ or the lesbian couple followed from school and taunted.
‘Our new Training Partners programme will enable us to reach more teaching staff and schools than ever before, and help to change hearts and minds in many more communities. Our vision is to create a world where everyone, everywhere is free to be themselves, and until this is a reality, our work continues.’