Conservative-affiliated LGBT group, LGBTory, today welcomed the publication of the Education White paper, “The Importance of Teaching” with its determination to tackle homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.
The White Paper covers subjects from school improvement and funding to the reforms of the curriculum that is taught in each school. It also has a section devoted to ‘Behaviour’, which highlights homophobia and homophobic bullying on at least eight different occasions, with an explicit endorsement of the work of groups like Stonewall, who, the government say, they will work with “to promote best practice and make sure that schools know where to go for support”.
In the House of Commons, openly-gay Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, welcomed the news and asked for further clarification. Mr Stewart welcomed the Education Secretary’s “announcement that he will prioritise action to tackle homophobic bullying, which terrorises many vulnerable young gay men and women” and asked “Will he set out his plans for this in a little more detail?”
Education Secretary, Michael Gove responded that was that he was “delighted to do so”. He went on to say:
“Homophobic bullying is on the rise in our schools, and homophobic terms are increasingly used towards gay students and straight students in a way that seeks to undermine the tolerance that we have built up over the past 15 years. We therefore need to work with organisations such as Stonewall and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and to shine the light on schools such as St George’s Church of England school, which has done a fantastic job in tackling homophobic bullying. This requires work not only by school leaders but by political leaders and all of society to tackle a growing prejudice that is scarring our tolerant society.”
LGBTory Chairman, Matthew Sephton commented:
“I am delighted that the Conservative-led government is leading the way on issues such as this that affect the LGBT community. Homophobic bullying in our schools is a very real nightmare for many of our young people and it needs to be stamped out.”