|Year1999-2010 (up to change in government)
||Legislation, Policy, Guidance or other key document.
|National Healthy schools scheme launched running nationally (continues to present day but in vastly reduced capacity.)Learning and Skills Act requires that:young people learn about the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and bringing up children. young people are protected from teaching and materials which are inappropriate, having regard to the age and the religious andcultural background of the pupils concerned.school governing bodies have regard for the SRE guidance.parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of SRE provided outside national curriculum science.SRE Guidance Launched (2000)-See 2013 for further comment.Age of consent equalised to 16 for all.PSHE Certification scheme running nationally (continues to present day but in reduced capacity where schools/teachers must pay to take part.)
OFSTED SRE report found that homophobia unchallenged and that teachers needed support and guidance in challenging homophobia and teaching sexuality
Section 28 repealed (legislation which prevented “promotion” of homosexuality by local authorities since 1988.
Employment Equality Regulations
Every Child Matters Agenda launched
DCFS & DH Publish “Stand up for us”- guide to challenging homophobic bullying
Civil partnerships Act
Gender recognition act
Education & Inspections Act- every school must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils.
Stonewall School Report Published
DCSF Safe To learn Guidance – Homophobic Bullying in Schools published
New non statutory programmes of study published for PSHE
Guidance on the Duty to Promote community cohesion DCSF
Guidance on the Duty to Promote Wellbeing DCSF
SRE review external review published- recommends SRE be inclusive & meet needs of all young people.
DCSF response to SRE steering group stating intention to make SRE statutory.
Stonewall Teachers Report published
DCSF publish Guidance for schools on preventing and responding to sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying.
GTC code of conduct launched. Required teachers too: “Act appropriately towards all children and young people, parents, carers and colleagues, whatever their socio-economic background, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion or belief.”
SRE dropped from Children and Families Bill and will not become statutory.
Ofsted report on PSHE finds that 12/165 schools had serious gaps in PSHE
mainly related to sex and relationship education, drugs education, mental health, and tackling sexism and homophobia.
|DfES & DH 2002SEF 2011DfEE 2000Hannah& Douglas Scott, 2008National PSHE CPD Programme, 2013
Hannah & Douglas Scott, 2008
Hannah & Douglas Scott, 2008
DCFS & DH 2004
Hannah & Douglas Scott, 2008
Hannah & Douglas Scott, 2008
Hannah & Douglas Scott, 2008
|| Equality Act&Equality Duty
|| The Equality Act 2010 The Equality Act 2010 replaces previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. A key provision is a new public sector Equality Duty, which came into force on 5 April 2011. It replaces the three previous public sector equality duties for race, disability and gender, and covers age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The Duty has three aims. It requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The Equality Act 2010 covers the way the curriculum is delivered, as schools and other education providers must ensure that issues are taught in a way that does not subject pupils to discrimination. It is also a legal requirement for schools to teach a balanced view of any political issue
Schools are required to comply with the new Equality Duty.
The Act also makes it unlawful for the responsible body of a school to discriminate against, harass or victimise a pupil or potential pupil in relation to admissions, the way it provides education for pupils, provision of pupil access to any benefit, facility or service, or by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment. In England and Wales the Act applies to all maintained and independent schools, including Academies and Free Schools, and maintained and non-maintained special schools. (SEF, 2011)
Schools must ensure equal opportunities in the education they provide, so it would not be lawful for schools to provide SRE only for girls or only for boys. An example of good practice given in guidance for education providers on the Equality Act (EHRC,2010) is that PSHE education should cover equality and diversity based subjects including gender equality and non-violent, respectful relationships between women and men.
|| DfE Launch new bullying guidance
||The 140 page documents Safe to Learn guidances on Homophobic Bullying (DCFS,2007) and the 48 page document Sexist, Sexual and Transphobic bullying (DCFS, 2009) are replaced by an 11 page document (DfE, 2012) that states “Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber-bullying via text messages or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities.” It does not mention homophobia or homophobic bullying specifically but does state schools are required to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and state that successful schools openly discuss differences between people that could motivate bullying, such as religion, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality as well as having a section headed LGBT mentioning three organisations under “Further sources of information” (DfE, 2012)
|| New Ofsted InspectionFramework and Guidance
||Since 2010 OFTSED has expected schools to provide them with “all logs that record exclusions, pupils taken off roll, incidents of poor behaviour, racist incidents and incidents of bullying, including homophobic bullying” (OFSTED School Inspection Handbook 2012 page 7) and will assess the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle discriminatory and derogatory language – this includes homophobic and racist language (OFSTED School Inspection Handbook 2012 page 36). Inspections must consider:• Pupils’ behaviour towards, and respect for, other young people andadults, including freedom from bullying and harassment, including cyber bullying and prejudice-based bullying (para 42). The focus on behaviour will also include pupils’ attitudes to learning, their conduct in lessons and around school. • Pupils’ ability to assess and manage risk appropriately and keep themselves safe (para 42) where risk includes those risks associated with extremism, new technology substance misuse, knives and gangs, relationships (including sexual relationships) water, fire, roads and railways. See PSHE Assoc Guidance/BriefingBehaviour and safety of pupils’ behaviour towards, and respect for, other young people and adults.This includes: • Freedom from bullying and harassment that may include cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability, and: • Pupils’ ability to assess and manage risk and keep themselves safe.
||GTC (and hence the code of conduct) scrapped in Quango cull
||The GTC was abolished on 31 March 2012 with some of its functions being assumed by a new body known as the Teaching Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Education. Therefore the code of conduct for teachers no longer in force.
||Stonewall Publish School Report 2012
||More than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) students surveyed across the UK in 2012 still report experiencing homophobic bullying and 96% of gay pupils hear homophobic remarks such as ‘poof’ or ‘lezza’ used in school. Almost all (99 per cent) hear phrases such as ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ in school.
||OFSTED No Place for bullying report.
||Page 5“The schools sometimes had systematically to tackle racist, homophobic and aggressiveattitudes that existed among parents and carers and in parts of their wider community that werein serious conflict with the school’s values”Pupils in all of the schools could give a range of examples of disparaging language that they heard in school. This was related to perceived ability, race, religion, sexuality, appearance or family circumstances. Homophobic language was frequently mentioned Page 6Schools also encountered homophobic attitudes that could spill over into school. In the best examples they tackled these robustly both in school and within the community, to good effect.
Occasionally, schools were nervous about highlighting issues of diversity because they saw them as potentially contentious. This led to them tackling issues about diversity, particularly disability and homophobia, but also race to some extent, only as they arose, rather than building them into the curriculum or the day-to-day life of the school.
The disparaging language most commonly heard by pupils in both primary and secondary schools related to perceived ability or lack of ability – mainly the latter; race and, less commonly, religion; sexuality; appearance; family circumstances; and, in secondary schools, sexual behaviour
This evidence from the pupils was in direct contrast with the views of the staff. At least some of the staff interviewed in 24 of the primary schools commented that they ‘never’ heard prejudice-based language, such as homophobic or racist language,
Tackling prejudice related to homophobia
The first five case studies in this part of the survey focus on schools’ actions to tackle aspects of homophobia and transphobia. The schools visited were all very different in size, location, pupil population and in their specialisms, yet there were strong common elements that featured in their practice. In these schools, homophobic and transphobic language, behaviour and attitudes were successfully tackled in the following ways.
n Acknowledging the problem. The schools surveyed pupils, parents and carers, governors and staff, to identify whether homophobic terms such as ‘gay’ (in a derogatory sense), ‘lez’ or ‘trannie’ were prevalent, and considered whether there were other forms of bullying and behaviour that should also be tackled.
n Securing a commitment from all senior leaders. In each school there was a strong vision, ethos and drive from senior leaders to tackle homophobic and transphobic conduct and language.
n Training for all staff. All staff were involved and received the same training. This meant that lunchtime staff, site managers, learning mentors, teaching assistants and staff working in the front-of-house office all knew school policies and procedures and how to recognise, challenge and record this type of behaviour. As a result, staff became knowledgeable and confident about this aspect of their work.
n Updating policies and procedures. All policies were reviewed and updated to ensure that they included lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils and, importantly, adults. Systems to safeguard pupils, such as training for the designated officer for child protection, and policies such as those for behaviour and anti-bullying policies were amended to ensure that staff had a good level of knowledge about tackling prejudice-based bullying. As a result, LGBT pupils felt protected and safe and improved their achievement.
n Tackling homophobic and transphobic language strongly. Each school ensured that any use of such language, such as ‘gay’ as a derogatory term, was recorded and followed up. Incidents were taken seriously and could be reported anonymously to protect the pupils. Incidents were measured and evaluated frequently. Similarly, any anti-gay or anti-transgender attitudes were followed up and staff worked with pupils to change their perceptions. All of these schools were fearless in tackling prejudice-based behaviours and included parents and carers, governors and the community in helping to combat poor behaviour.
n Developing the curriculum to meet the needs of LGBT learners. All of these schools reviewed their curricula and systems to ensure that they met the needs of these groups of pupils. They ensured that staff did not make assumptions about pupils’ families and sexuality and included references to same-sex couples and families. They ensured that lessons, books and topics covered all strands of diversity including sexuality and gender identity. Most schools used role models and resources provided by external organisations to create an inclusive culture within their schools. Displays, posters and information to visitors ensured that everyone entering the school knew about its values of respect for all forms of diversity. These schools did not single out sexuality or gender identity but ensured that the curriculum covered all types of diversity.
n Creating a safe environment. In these schools this combination of actions ensured that there was a high level of tolerance and safety for all members of the community. Consequently pupils, adults and teachers could feel safe in being ‘out’ or being themselves in school without fear of retribution.
The report then details 5 case studies which are not detailed here for brevity. They can be viewed in the original report here- http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/no-place-for-bullying
||DfE Publish the PSHE Review
||March 2013 the DfE published the outcomes of the latest PSHE review (DfE 2013). The publication of this review took over 16 months to complete from the close of the consultation process in November 2011. It did not weight responses correctly so it made it seem like parents were the biggest respondents (168) when organisations such as the Sex Education Forum represent over 70 organisations working in the sector who were consulted before responding and the PSHE Association surveyed their 2000+ members before submitting their response but their responses only counted as 1 response each. Thus a single parent voice was given equal weight to over 2000 professional voices when compiling the review. Homophobia was not mentioned in the document at all
|| DfE 2013
||Government announce that DfEE 2000 Guidance remains
||N.B Lessons on Sexual Orientation and Homophobia would likely be covered within the non-statuotory subject personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) which includes Sex & Relationships Education. In May 2013 the government announced the 2000 SRE guidance (DfEE, 2000) was still in force (Truss, 2013) despite this guidance predating the repeal of section 28 and being full of references to now out of date documents and groups such as Teenage Pregancy Unit contained within the Social Exclusion Unit, National Healthy Schools standard. It also references a National Curriculum that is in the process of being updated and finalised with the current draft science national curriculum having reduced SRE statutory content (SEF, 2013). This document may now also contravene the Equality Act 2010 for repeated mentions of “It is not about promotion of Sexual Orientation- this would be inappropriate teaching Page 5“What is sex and relationship education? It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching.” Page 11
“Within the context of talking about relationships, children should be taught about the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and for bringing up children. The Government recognises that there are strong and mutually supportive relationships outside marriage. Therefore, children should learn the significance of marriage and stable relationships as key building blocks of community and society. Teaching in this area needs to be sensitive so as not to stigmatise children on the basis of their home circumstances.”
Page 12 & 13
“Sexual identity and sexual orientation
1.30 It is up to schools to make sure that the needs of all pupils are met in their programmes. Young people, whatever their developing sexuality, need to feel that sex and relationship education is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs. The Secretary of State for Education and Employment is clear that teachers should be able to deal honestly and sensitively with sexual orientation, answer appropriate questions and offer support. There should be no direct promotion of sexual orientation.
1.31 Sexual orientation and what is taught in schools is an area of concern for some parents. Schools that liaise closely with parents when developing their sex and relationship education policy and programme should be able to reassure parents of the content of the programme and the context in which it will be presented.
1.32 Schools need to be able to deal with homophobic bullying. Guidance issued by the Department (Social Inclusion: Pupil Support Circular 10/99) dealt with the unacceptability of and emotional distress and harm caused by bullying in whatever form – be it racial, as a result of a pupil’s appearance, related to sexual orientation or for any other reason.”
(N.B this has now been superseded by Education and Inspections Act 2006 and Equalities Act 2010)
SRE within PSHE in Primary Schools
Expects pupils to
“developing good relationships and respecting differences between people.”
SRE within PSHE In Secondary Schools
Expects pupils to:
“be aware of their sexuality and understand human sexuality”
Parents need support in
- “answering questions about growing up, having babies, feeling attraction, sexuality, sex, contraception, relationships and sexual health.”
Youth Workers “It is inappropriate for youth workers, as with any professional, to promote sexual orientation. They will be expected to respect this guidance when dealing with school age children. Individual views should not affect the independent advice given to the young person concerned.”
“Particular life experiences of the educators can help young people understand how sex and relationships can affect people positively and negatively. Examples
- young teenage mothers talking about their experiences of having a child and offering advice and support to their peers;
- young Asian women talking about their experience of learning about sex and relationships at home and from the wider community including school;
- young people talking about their experience of living with HIV; and
- young people who are physically disabled talking to other young people with a disability.”
Note the complete omission of people who are LGBT.
The section on confidentiality at the end of the document does not clarify that a young person’s developing sexual orientation is NOT a child protection issue.
Overview of key terms used
Homophobia appears 0 times in the document.
Sexuality appears 9 times in the document
Sexual Orientation 7 times in the document
Heterosexual, Homosexual, Straight, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender do not appear at all as terms in the document.
Prejudice appears twice in the document
Equality or Discrimination do not appear as terms in the document.
Bullying appears three times in the document, one of those mentions being “homophobic bullying”
||OFSTED Publish PSHE Report- Not Yet Good Enough
||Page 7“In 42% of primary schools and 38% of secondary schools teaching was not good enough. Too many teachers lacked expertise in teaching sensitive and controversial issues, which resulted in some topics such as puberty, sexuality or domestic violence being avoided.”Page 6&7“Sex and relationships education required improvement in over a third of schools. In primary schools this was because too much emphasis was placed on friendships and relationships, leaving pupils ill-prepared for physical and emotional changes during puberty, which many begin to experience before they reach secondary school. In secondary schools it was because too much emphasis was placed on ‘the mechanics’ of reproduction and too little on relationships, sexuality, the influence of pornography on students’ understanding of healthy sexual relationships, dealing with emotions and staying safe.”Page 12In all of the secondary schools visited, students had learnt about human reproduction in National Curriculum science. However, some voiced the opinion that PSHE education lessons had avoided discussion of sexual and emotional feelings and controversial issues such as sexual abuse, homosexuality and pornography.Page 19
“Pupils’ understanding of diversity, prejudice and discrimination was not developed well enough in one in four primary schools and one in eight secondary schools. Pupils had learnt about racism and sexism but not about other forms of discrimination, resulting in their failure to appreciate the impact on others of derogatory language, particularly homophobic and disablist comments. It was evident in responses to the online survey that schools are not doing enough to ensure that pupils have a good awareness and understanding of all forms of diversity and discrimination. Almost two thirds of panellists had learnt about racism, just under a half about faith discrimination but only one third had learned about homophobic behaviour and its impact. The north west region showed the starkest contrast, with 88% claiming to have learnt about racism but only 14% about homophobia.”
|17th July 2013
||Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill became law
||This bill debated at length about what the impact on teachers “being forced to teach about homosexuality against their beliefs, and the impact on children being forced to learn about same sex marriage”. I blogged about this elsewhere.
|Feb to July & 2013
||Draft National Curriculum documents published
||The Feb draft of the National Curriculum included references to History learning about laws relating to homosexuality and the equal opportunities statement included gender reassignment. However by the July draft both of these had been removed. Initially DfE stated this was because “‘Teachers are best-placed to understand the needs of their pupils and to tailor their programme to reflect the needs of their pupils” which they later changed to “’This was a drafting error…The final version of the national curriculum framework document will include a list of all protected characteristics under the Equality Act – including gender reassignment.’
||Fae 2013 a &b
||Final National Curriculum Document published.
||The final document included gender reassignment in the equal opportunities within the document but the laws relating to homosexuality remained removed and thus there is no mention of sexual orientation or homophobia within the document.
||Questions raised over section 28’s repeal and implications for SRE policy
||Many schools are found to have sex and relationships education policies containing the phrase “must not promote homosexuality”. The DfE issues a statement “ “‘Our sex and relationship education guidance makes it clear that schools should not promote any sexual orientation.” Although they have added in an “any” which does not appear in their actual guidance.
||Hoyle 2013d &e
||Stonewall launch new campaign to challenge homophobic language