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Government has axed funding for LGBTQ+ bullying projects in schools

Funding ended in March

2020-11-19

(Words: Jamie Tabberer)

The UK government has axed funding for LGBTQ+ bullying projects in schools.

The moves affects schools in England, reports the BBC, where £4m has been spent to tackle LGBTQ+ bullying since 2014.

However, funding for the well-received projects ended last March.

The money from the Government Equalities Office, initially called The Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Challenge Fund, offered teachers, staff and students non-compulsory, free training and workshops on how to counteract LGBTQ+ bullying.

"Always due to end in March 2020"

An Equality Hub spokesperson from the Government Equalities Office commented: "The anti-bullying grant fund, which provided 2,250 schools across the country with materials and training, was always due to end in March 2020.

"The Department for Education will be taking forward all anti-bullying work, alongside rolling out statutory Relationships Education in all primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education in all secondary schools."

Funding was first announced in October 2014 by former Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, and has been extended each year since.

This month, a survey found that 52% of secondary school students believe coming out at school will lead to bullying.

"Age appropriate LGBT+ inclusive education cannot continue to be optional"

Responding to the news, Adam McCann, CEO of Diversity Role Models, told Attitude: "The Pathways to LGBT+ Inclusion: Report recommends for the Department for Education and Government Equalities Office to fund LGBT+ inclusion education programmes, including staff training, and to fund additional research to better understand the drivers of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

"Funding anti-LGBT bullying programmes will improve the lives of more than young LGBT+ students, it is funding towards a better, more inclusive Britain. In addition to funding, there is an urgent need for clear, LGBT+ inclusive guidance and policies for schools from the government. Age appropriate LGBT+ inclusive education cannot continue to be optional, the safety of pupils is at stake."

The Government Equalities Office declined to offer further comment when contacted by Attitude.

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