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Promoting Equal Opportunities in Education - Project Two: Guidance On Dealing With Homophobic Incidents: Phase 1 Report and Recommendations

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Introduction

LGBT Youth Scotland was commissioned by the Scottish Executive Education Department ( SEED) to carry out Phase 1 of the Guidance on Dealing with Homophobic Incidents project. This was one of the SEED Promoting Equal Opportunities in Education projects and ran from February to November 2005.

Although some research into homophobia and homophobic incidents in schools has been carried out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (this includes Rivers 2000, Adams, 2004, Warwick et al., 2001, Douglas et al., 1999, Renold, 2002, Youthnet Northern Ireland, 2003) there has, until now, been no Scotland-wide research into these issues.

Phase 1 of the Guidance on Dealing with Homophobic Incidents project involved research into the practice that schools and Education Authorities ( EAs) employ to deal with homophobic incidents and the awareness levels of staff and pupils in identifying and addressing such incidents. One key aim of the project was to ensure that there is a consistent and effective approach that will build the confidence of school staff in terms of recognising and dealing with homophobic incidents.

Research was carried out with EAs and schools across Scotland and with young people attending or having recently attended school. Findings are contextualised by a literature review of academic, government and voluntary sector publications and presented according to the main themes which emerged from the research.

Often the literature reviewed and the respondents surveyed or interviewed throughout this report discuss only LG (Lesbian and Gay) or LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) issues. However, for the purposes of this research the term LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) is used by the authors both for consistency and to reflect the trans-inclusive culture of the Scottish LGBT sector.