The Stonewall School Report 2017: Bullied for being LGBT in Wales

22 November 2017

Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) equality charity in the United Kingdom has revealed that many LGBT pupils are at risk of being bullied in Welsh schools. In partnership with the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, Stonewall conducted a survey with young LGBT people on their experiences in secondary schools and colleges across Britain. Between November 2016 and February 2017, 3,713 LGBT young people aged between 11 and 19 years old, including 267 living in Wales, completed an online questionnaire. The School Report Cymru 2017 is based on the responses of the participants living in Wales.       

Bullying is part of many LGBT pupil’s daily lives

The study shows that more than half of LGB pupils are bullied at school in Wales, and the percentage goes up to 73 % for transgender pupils. Three in five LGBT pupils 'frequently' or 'often' hear homophobic language in school, and half 'frequently' or 'often' hear transphobic language. Bullying experienced by Welsh students is mostly psychological. Students are reluctant to talk about the bullying: nearly half of LGBT pupils who experience bullying never tell anyone about it.

Risks of self-harm and suicide

The report shows that 77 % of transgender youth and 61 % of LGB pupils have deliberately harmed themselves and 41% of transgender pupils and 21% of LGB pupils have tried to take their own life.

Responses and recommendations

Only a quarter of bullied LGBT pupils in Welsh schools say that teachers intervene when bullying occurs. Just three in ten LGBT pupils report that teachers or school staff consistently challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language. Stonewall recommends that the Welsh Government should make LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education a mandatory part of the curriculum. It stresses that all teachers, school staff and governors should be trained on tackling anti-LGBT bullying. The report recommends that Estyn (the Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales) should play an active role in inspecting the extent to which schools provide a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT pupils.

As the world moves forward on the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda, UNESCO is committed to monitoring the progress towards the achievement of Target 4.a.2 focusing on School based Violence and Bullying. UNESCO has published its School Violence and Bullying Global Status Report as the reference for prognosis and response framework.