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The School Report:: The experiences of gay young people in Britain’s schools in 2012

The School Report 2012, a survey of more than 1,600 gay young people, demonstrates the encouraging results of this work. Levels of homophobic bullying have fallen by 10 per cent since 2007 and the number of schools saying that homophobic bullying is wrong has more than doubled, to 50 per cent. This research also provides clear evidence that in those schools that are taking simple steps to tackle homophobia, pupils are both much less likely to have been bullied and much more likely to feel happy and welcome in their schools.

But the study leaves little room for complacency. More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people still report experiencing homophobic bullying and its damaging impact is just as pronounced. Over two in five gay pupils who experience homophobic bullying attempt or think about taking their own life as a direct consequence. Three in five young people say that bullying has a direct impact on their school work and straight-A students have told us it makes them want to leave education entirely. As policymakers look for ways to boost attainment and raise aspiration it’s clear that tackling homophobic bullying should be close to the top of their agenda.