Tackling Homophobic Bullying in Manchester

Publish Date: 11/05/2012

As part of its work in Manchester, Exceeding Expectations has found that almost half of the students spoken to don’t think their school feel that their school is an unsafe place for lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils and just under half have witnessed homophobic bullying in schools.

97% of students have told us that they have heard the word ‘gay’ used in a negative way

64% tell us that they hear the word ‘gay’ used as an insult or to describe something they don’t like most or every day.

The findings of Exceeding Expectations mirror  national findings in  which seven out of ten lesbian and gay young people say homophobic bullying affects their school work and many have skipped school because of it (Source: The School Report, Stonewall).

The majority of teachers have never received training on how to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying. Many teachers say that they would not feel confident enough to talk about lesbian and gay issues in class and may lack the support and confidence needed to provide support and advice to lesbian, gay and bisexual young people. However Exceeding Expectations has been making positive progress to challenge these issues.

Positive Effects of Exceeding Expectations

Staff in Manchester schools were surveyed during pre-performances of the play ‘OUTLOUD’, a specially commissioned piece of verbatim theatre produced by Hope Theatre Company, in staff training in schools and following a showcase event in May 2011.

100% of staff that attended staff training during this period said they would welcome more guidance, training and support from the Exceeding Expectations initiative.

It does make a difference. It does reduce homophobia’

“The play is excellent and the accompanying training for schools seems to make the whole project have a lasting impact on students and schools”

‘Excellent. Powerful play with a clear non- patronising message. The initiative is essential”

Exceeding Expectations is proud to announce that Exceeding Expectations will again be in Manchester schools from 14th May - 25th May.

To find out more about how Exceeding Expectations is ending homophobia through education please go to: www.exceedingexpectations.org.uk

The Exceeding Expectations partnership in Manchester involves Manchester City Council, Manchester Healthy Schools, Hope Theatre Company, Manchester Community Health, and the Lesbian & Gay Foundation. The initiative also has the backing of Manchester Safeguarding Children’s Board.