Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying

Guidance and resources to help you tackle HBT bullying and support LGBT young people.

Oxfordshire is a member of the Children and Young People’s Services (CYPS)  Champion’s Programme and we are committed to challenging HBT bullying. This includes the challenging of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic language. Last year Oxfordshire was joint winner in the Stonewall Education Equality Index (out of around 40 local authorities who entered)

Ofsted framework

The current Ofsted framework emphasises the need to consider pupils “freedom from bullying, harassment and discrimination” as part of ensuring their safety. Inspectors will also consider “records and analysis of bullying, including racist, disability and homophobic bullying”

Exploring the school’s actions to prevent homophobic bullying: Ofsted guidance (pdf format, 165Kb)

This briefing for Ofsted inspectors has been removed from the current framework but recent Ofsted inspections and information from Ofsted indicate this still provides a useful framework for schools to review practice in this area.

Oxfordshire has recently updated our Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic bullying toolkit which provides detailed resources and information to help you tackle this effectively. This guidance links to our Prejudice-related incidents guidance which includes guidelines about recording (For further information and templates for tackling bullying generally please see the policy and guidance section of the web pages.

Local guidance

Oxfordshire Equality School Champion Award

Children and young people who are LGBT, or are thought to be LGBT, those who don’t conform to gender stereotypes, or those who have LGBT family members are all likely to experience Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic (HBT) bullying. Our local bullying survey shows that this group of young people are the most vulnerable to bullying and that this bullying happens in both primary and secondary schools. 

We have therefore prioritised this Equality School Champion Award  (pdf format, 118Kb)  which is attached as part of our development of awards to promote good Anti-Bullying Practice. This award is suitable for Primary, Secondary and Special Schools. Please e-mail anti-bullying@oxfordshire.gov.uk for further information.

Oxfordshire Youth Conferences November 2017 and November 2018 – resources to promote good practice

Oxfordshire’s Youth Conference for Anti-Bullying Week 2017 saw the launch of Project Q Film and Resource pack. A film was created from the Project Q theatre piece which aims to raise awareness and prevent and tackle LGBT bullying in secondary schools. A free copy of the DVD is available on request from anti-bullying@oxfordshire.gov.uk. The film must be used in conjunction with the Project Q guidance and resource pack which you can find below. You can find more examples of good practice from the conference below.

National guidance, resources and links

Stonewall provide a range of different information to tackle bullying which can be accessed via their website 

Stonewall school champions programme

Stonewall primary and secondary resources

Stonewall have recently produced the following guides to support you with getting started on challenging LGBT bullying.

Stonewall has a wide range of other education resources

Stonewall general resources

Challenging transphobic bullying/supporting trans and gender questioning children and young people

Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools

Oxfordshire collaborated with other local authorities to provide guidance to support schools to ensure their practice is inclusive of trans and gender questioning children and young people.  The toolkit includes information about schools’ legal responsibilities, whole school approaches to promote inclusion, practical advice for schools, preventing and responding to bullying and links to local and national organisations that can provide further support. 

The Gires website provides information for trans people, their families and professionals working with them. They have produced guidance on tackling transphobic bullying in schools.

Mermaids UK are a charity that provide family and individual support for teenagers and children with gender identity issues.

The Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SABP) and the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) have jointly developed an excellent e-learning resource on the care of gender nonconforming young people which is aimed at professionals and families.

Local support for LGBT young people

The Oxfordshire County Council youth website provides information on sexuality, gender and gender questioning and including links to national and local support.

Topaz  An informal group for LGBTI+ young people (13 – 18) Meetings are currently held in Cowley, Oxford City  Wantage (by Sweatbox), Bicester (by OYAP), Didcot (by Train) Witney, Abingdon and Banbury coming soon! Please see website for further detials.     

My Normal is a creative, vibrant and safe social space for LGBTQ+ youth to reduce isolation, increase voice, campaign for acceptance, challenge prejudice, encourage the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders & to devise arts projects that encourage self-expression and a sense of connection. This is an inclusive project for young people 13 up to 25 and FREE. My Normal is currently in collaboration with the Ark T Centre running a music project for LGBTQ+ & disabled young people  http://www.ark-t.org/music/my-normal-music-project/

Pegasus Theatre True Colours Project is a FREE weekly creative arts project in Oxford City for young people who identify or are allies of the LGBTQ+ community. For further details please contact Kat Booth, Participation Co-ordinator on participation@pegasustheatre.org.uk or telephone 01865 812177

SAFE! Project support for young people who have been victims of crime, including bullying in relation to sexuality and gender. SAFE! is a charity providing support in the Thames Valley area including Oxfordshire.

Mental health support

LGBT young people experience increased incidence of mental health problems and levels of self-harm. It is therefore crucial that they are referred for mental health support when appropriate. Please contact https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/camhs/oxon/ for more information and to make a referral.

Mental Health Support for trans and gender questioning children and young people

For young people who are particularly distressed in relation to gender issues (or who may be experiencing an associated mental health difficulty), schools should in the first instance link with their allocated school nurse or child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) linkworker. They will then will liaise further as required within the CAMHS service regarding any immediate emotional or mental health needs which require active intervention. CAMHS professionals will link, where there are pervasive gender identity issues, with the highly specialist national provision at the Tavistock Clinic in London (The Gender Identity and Development Service (GIDS)). Such referrals can also be made by other health professionals (e.g.Gps or paediatricians) but the GIDS service currently recommends contact with local CAMHS teams as part of their service delivery model.

Other resources and links