The PSHE Association warmly welcomes the initiative aimed at tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in secondary schools launched today by Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson.
We know from recent Ofsted reports that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are big issues in schools. We believe that schools need proactive strategies to address prejudice and explore equality through the curriculum in addition to ensuring they take firm action when bullying is identified.
PSHE education is an ideal place on the curriculum to explore gender identity and sexual orientation as part of a wider programme of learning, but the subject is being squeezed off school timetables and is too often delivered by untrained teachers. We therefore hope that the initiative will focus heavily on supportive positive curriculum work relating to equality, as well as dealing with prejudice-based bullying when it does occur.
PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:
“We completely agree with Jo Swinson’s comments about homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. The key from our perspective is positive work in the curriculum addressing the roots of prejudice and exploring the concept of equality in a diverse society. We believe that PSHE education should be central to achieving these objectives, but in order for this aspiration to become a reality, we need to provide more support and training to teachers. We look forward to working with Government to that end.”
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